Color Theory With Tables and UbD


        “I found I could say things with color

and shapes that I couldn’t say any

other way –

things I had no words for.”

                                                                  ~Georgia O’Keeffe

         After much confusion and a few anxiety attacks I have completed a 3 column table using templates for course planning included in Fink’s 3 column table and an  Understanding by Design (UbD) model using the one page template from Wiggins and  McTighes’ book Understanding by Design. I will share how I feel about the two.

        After trial and error I finally used the 3 column table to create a set of goals that stretches over the entire year of my Art I course. I began with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) that is broad and attainable for my students then I created outcomes that would prove the students knew what was expected of them and could attain the goals. 

         BHAG:Students will take responsibility of their work and demonstrate knowledge of fine art by creating personal pieces of traditional and digital artwork to add to their e-portfolio in a hands-on learning environment while incorporating prior experiences with what they are currently learning.

The 3 column table can have goals that stretch out over many years. It exemplifies more of a big picture type of goal setting. Once I had goals for the Art I year made, I created ways for them to be fulfilled and assessed. This led to the creation of an UbD lesson plan.

          In this particular case the UbD is based on a color theory unit. It is very important for artist to understand colors and how they relate to one another. One way to do this is color-wheelto create a color wheel. I took the information from the 3 column table and extended upon the learning goals to create a UbD model. The UbD model allows one to create more detailed and specific objectives on multiple levels. It also encourages cross-questioning. Which can get confusing if the proper action and describing words are not used. The UbD model is based on short term goals. The example that I am sharing about color theory is a ten day unit. One thing I like about the UbD better than the 3 column is the ability to assure that every aspect of the curriculum is covered and has purpose. I also include the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in my model. This allows my principal and myself to make sure all the objectives are being covered that should be.

Both of these methods are designed around Backward Design. The teacher creates a set of goals based on what needs to be met in their particular course and then puts into place the necessary activities to achieve those goals. Fink’s model has the teacher create an overarching goal – (BHAG) while the UbD model sets the tone for implementing more detail oriented goals.

          In conclusion I have found that having a 3 column table with a BHAG combined with a UbD model with more specific detail and specific goals works best for my classes. Having a coherent UbD plan keeps me and my students on track and aware of specific goals to obtain. The UbD model requires thought provoking questions to design activities that can meet the goals and master objectives. The questions lead the teacher to think in greater detail exactly how each goal will be accomplished and measured. Combining the two models will give my students great opportunities to create pieces of art that will meet all the standards, reach set goals, and retain important information that will help them excel in the future. Adhering to set goals will also help the students create pieces of art that are personal to them to add to their e-portfolios.

TEKS used in this lesson:

(1)  Foundations: observation and perception. The student develops and expands visual literacy skills using critical thinking, imagination, and the senses to observe and explore the world by learning about, understanding, and applying the elements of art, principles of design, and expressive qualities. The student uses what the student sees, knows, and has experienced as sources for examining, understanding, and creating original artwork. The student is expected to:

 (A)  consider concepts and ideas from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination for original artwork.

 (B)  identify and understand the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork.

(D)  make judgments about the expressive properties such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor of artwork using art vocabulary accurately.

(2)  Creative expression. The student communicates ideas through original artwork using a variety of media with appropriate skills. The student expresses thoughts and ideas creatively while challenging the imagination, fostering reflective thinking, and developing disciplined effort and progressive problem-solving skills. The student is expected to:

 (A)  use visual solutions to create original artwork by problem solving through              direct observation, original sources, experiences, narrations, and imagination.

 (E)  collaborate to create original works of art; and

 (F)  demonstrate effective use of art media and tools in drawing, painting,               printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, and digital art and media.

(3)  Historical and cultural relevance. The student demonstrates an understanding of art history and culture by analyzing artistic styles, historical periods, and a variety of cultures. The student develops global awareness and respect for the traditions and contributions of diverse cultures. The student is expected to:

(A)  compare and contrast historical and contemporary styles while identifying general themes and trends.

(4)  Critical evaluation and response. The student responds to and analyzes the artworks of self and others, contributing to the development of the lifelong skills of making informed judgments and reasoned evaluations. The student is expected to:        

(A)  interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork by self, peers, and other artists such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites.

(B)  evaluate and analyze artwork using a verbal or written method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork.

(C)  construct a physical or electronic portfolio by evaluating and analyzing personal original artwork to provide evidence of learning.

Fink, L.D. (2003). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. Retrieved from Designing Significant Learning Experiences: Materials in Print website:…

Oana. (n.d.). COLOR WHEEL CHART – COLOR THEORY [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


One thought on “Color Theory With Tables and UbD

  1. Pingback: Bringing it All Together | Technology in art

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