Edible Color Wheels

Color WheelESSENTIAL QUESTION:  How can you make secondary and intermediate colors by only using primaries?


  • Students will develop an awareness of the color wheel and how it works.
  • By mixing primary and secondary colors students will create intermediate colors.
  • Through the use of food coloring, vanilla wafers, and poster board, students will make an edible color wheel.

I begin this lesson by showing my students various works of art in different color schemes; i.e., primary and secondary.  They identify the colors and their classifications.   They then return to their tables to work in groups.  Each group is given a pre-drawn color wheel on a large piece of poster board to place in the middle of their table.  We work together they label the color wheel accordingly with primary and secondary colors.  I then pass out paper plates with vanilla wafer cookies, and pre-mixed red, blue, and yellow frosting.  Students take turns frosting the primary cookies and placing them on the color wheel.  They then mix frostings to create the secondary colors.  When the wheel is completed we review our colors and mixing strategies.  Then they EAT THE COOKIES!

I have added the intermediate colors to the wheel for my 6th grade students.

( Due to allergies and the increased cost of supplies I have had to omit this lesson from my plans.)

2 thoughts on “Edible Color Wheels

  1. I just did this last month with a 3-day Saturday Series class at the Museum. Our theme for the class was food art, so this worked perfectly! The size of the vanilla wafers are perfect to arrange on a color wheel paper plate. I gave each student a can of white frosting and plastic dixie cups for mixing the colors. It was great for this small group, but you are right, it’s tough to pull off with a big group of students. We used the extra frosting to create food sculptures with graham crackers.

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