In the first grade, the children are introduced to the colors of the rainbow and their different qualities. Students do not paint pictures of things, but rather of activities. Playful color stories describe relationships between the colors and simple compositions help the children develop control in brush and paint handling. Basic principles of color mixing and color theory are taught as well.
Form drawing is often called “motion come to rest.” The process of form drawing begins with children outlining an image in the air. It then moves to paper where they recreate the shape with the finger on the page. Finally they use a crayon to replicate the form. Rather than accentuating the final form that is created on the page, the teacher stresses the physical or mental movement and activity that occurs prior to when the actual drawing is made. In the first grade these drawings come in two types: geometric and running forms. The geometric forms are static forms such as circles, concentric circles, lemniscates, squares and star forms. Running forms move across the page in a horizontal or vertical way. Rhythmical stopping and starting and changing directions develop capacities of self control and forethought within the child. These forms might include the path of a falling leaf, the movement of the water as the wind gradually becomes stronger, or an ant walking across a farmer’s field.