To celebrate our sense of sight and the fact we can see an amazingly rich and diverse color spectrum I planned a day devoted to the rainbow. Humans are gifted with the ability to see a wide spectrum of color unlike other animals, for example dogs, who have only two types of cones in their eyes thus see a limited and less vivid spectrum of color. In my research for color recognition activities I ran across several posts for pom pom sorting. The general idea is that children will sort the pom poms into containers or down tubes into containers. I expanded upon the tube/container idea and filled a huge tub with a variety of collage goodies including: pom poms, foam stickers, foam shapes, card stock shapes, pipe cleaner pieces, and feathers. This color matching game tested each student’s knowledge of color, their ability to sort various shades and hues, and their ability to share space and work as a team.
In between the color matching game and our rainbow collage I read my favorite children’s book about color, White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker. I love how Baker explains the creation of secondary colors with simplicity and playfulness.
This book is out of print but I was lucky to find it on Amazon used and in an wonderful large format which is perfect for the classroom.
After story time we moved to the table and began constructing our rainbow collages. With my morning classes we used precut construction paper attached to poster board with glue sticks. We built the rainbow one strip at a time, then used white glue to add do-dads already sorted from our color sorting game.
Handling glue is a learned skill. A parent taught me a handy rhyme which I will forever use in my classroom because the kids really get it, “dot, dot, not a lot”. You can see below this student has mastered this technique!
It’s important for younger students who are still working on glue control to be given the opportunity to learn through hands-on practice. As long as they aren’t making huge puddles of glue than we let them continue to handle the glue on their own, sometimes I crank the cap down just a bit to control the flow the glue. Eventually with time and experimentation young children will the master the “squeeze and release” technique it takes to make a nice glue dot.
My afternoon classes (4Y and older) practiced color mixing with tempera paint. I started each student with a muffin tray of primary colors (red, yellow, blue). I demonstrated which colors to mix to achieve the secondary colors (orange, green and purple). We moved through the rainbow as a class, painting strips of color as we created them. We also used water and paper towels for cleaning our brushes in between mixing which is was a new and additional step for my students.
Our rainbow collages were a fun visual and tactile experience. I’d call this one a winner!