Teacher Resource for Teaching
Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Colours to Students.
A quick and easy reference guide for parents and teachers
By Karen Elzinga
Things to get children to do
Get kids to read the board
Get kids to write definitions down in there visual diaries.
Kids paint colours on the colour wheel
Get Kids to write colours in a colour wheel and paint colours in another colour wheel, provide 2 sheets each
What is the definition of a primary colour?
A Primary colour is a colour that cannot be achieved from combining other colours together. Primary colours are the basis from which other colours are made.
There are 3 primary colours
Can you guess what they might be?
The 3 primary colours are:
Fill in Primary colours to your colour wheel
Now it is time to get your children or students to write the colours on one of their wheels and to paint the colours onto the other. The written one is later used as a reference tool for the painted one.
What is the definition of a secondary colour?
A Secondary colour is a colour that can be achieved by mixing together two primary colours.
Orange is achieved by mixing the Primary colours of Red + yellow together
Purple is achieved by mixed the Primary colours of Red + Blue together
Green is achieved by mixing the Primary colours of Blue + Yellow together
Fill in Secondary colours to your colour wheel
Get children or students to write the secondary colours onto their written wheel, and to mix the correct colours to achieve secondary colours, and paint them onto their wheel.
Practice makes perfect
Everyday as a quick exercise get students to answer these questions
Blue + Yellow = Green
Blue + Red = Purple
Red + yellow = Orange
What is the definition of a Tertiary colour?
A Tertiary colour is made from combining either 3 Primary colours together or combining a secondary colour and a primary colour together.
Brown is achieved by mixing Primary colours (Red + Yellow + Blue)
Primary + Secondary colours (Red + Green)
Red orange is achieved by mixing Primary colours (Red + Yellow + Red)
Primary + Secondary Colours (Red + Orange)
Yellow green is achieved by mixing Primary Colours (Yellow + Blue + Yellow)
Primary + Secondary colours (Yellow + Green)
Fill in your tertiary colours
Write on your tertiary colours to your written wheel and allow children to mix and experiment in trying to create a tertiary colour and paint it onto their wheel. This may require a few attempts so encourage children to keep trying till get it right. The objective is to keep all colour parts as equal as possible to achieve the correct colour combination. If your child or students is unsuccessful, tell them to make sure their colours have even parts. Too much of one colour and not enough of another will hinder the results.
Write in your visual diary and write your answers
Get children or students to answer these questions, this allows the knowledge they have learnt to sink in and cements their learning. Repeat daily as a 2 minute morning exercise and then weekly, this should really cement colour learning and can be a fun educational activity.
How to make Tertiary colours
Yellow / Orange =
Red /Orange =
Red / Violet (purple) =
Blue / Violet (purple) =
Blue / Green =
Yellow / Green =
Download the PDF
A downloadable copy of this exercise is available at the top of the page, it can be reproduced and shown to students by any means possible. I hope it has been helpful and educational to student learning.