Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Color Exploration

Colors affect us in countless ways - mentally and physically, consciously and subconsciously. When children have an opportunity to explore color they increasing their understanding and appreciation of their surroundings.

My teaching is a reflection of the many influences.  I have been privileged to work with some of the greatest teachers around.  I also follow many wonderful blogs that inspire me daily.  The following are a few of my own activities and some that I have borrowed from other educators / moms.

Color Wheel

The Color Wheel shows the relationships between the colors. 
The three primary colors are redyellow, and blue; they are the only colors that cannot be made by mixing two other colors. 
The three secondary colors are green, orange, and violet; they are each a mixture of two primary colors. Their hue is halfway between the two primary colors that were used to mix them. On the color wheel, the secondary colors are located between the colors they are made from.

1.)  Natural Materials - great thing to keep in mind when going on a nature walk  2.) Recycled Materials - newspapers, bottle caps, fabric  3.)  Different colored items found around the classroom / house  4.) Paint: watercolor, tempera, finger, etc

Color Mixing

Color mixing becomes a natural next step once they are familiar with the color wheel.

1.) colored dough  2.) watercolor - mixing on trays and paper towels / coffee filters  3.) transparent colored paddles / plexiglass  (light exploration)  4.)  Ziploc bags & plastic wrap  5.) colored ice cubes 

I recommend having a system available for students to record how they created each color. 

We usually introduce color mixing in the fall.  We combine color mixing and still life drawings.  One of the easiest introduction to these skills are PUMPKINS.

Color Mixing: Pumpkin Still Life
red + yellow = orange (pumpkin)
blue + yellow = green (leaves)
yellow + red + blue = brown (stem)

Color Collections

Children enjoy collecting items. It doesn't matter if it's a scavenger hunt or sorting items.

We usually have a designated area in the room for the children to collect their treasures.  Items are found around the room / school, outdoors, and home.

When the students decide they are finished collecting items we take a picture and either frame it or turn the pictures into a class book.

Colored Collage

Color collages are similar to color collections.  One big difference is the items are permanently glued or taped. 

Light Play

Light is a playful and inventive way of exploring color.  Color can be projected into an area where the child can become part of the color. They can manipulate the light to create new colors.

Sensory Table

Color can make a sensory table pop! The color attracts curiosity. Curiosity leads to investigation. Investigation leads to understanding.

Color and Emotions

Color is associated with mood and behavior. The language of color has even entered our vocabulary to help us describe our emotions.  You can be 'red' with rage or 'green' with envy.  We often speak of bright cheerful colors as well as sad or dull ones.  A 'grey' day may be depressing and result in a feeling of the 'blues'.

One of our favorite books that relates color to emotions is I Am A Rainbow, by Dolly Parton.

Color & Emotions Activities:

  • Color poems: What does the color remind you of? How does that make you feel?  How does that color feel physically? Etc.
  • Feelings Class Book: When you are happy what color are you?  When you cry what color are you? On your birthday what color are you? Etc.

Awesome Books