At the beginning of the school year, we started to wonder and look at colours in a new way. The children from both of my Kindergarten classes (Monday/Wednesday and the Tuesday/Thursday group) collaborated with each other to create colour charts for our classroom. These charts hung year round and allow the students to have ownership in their creation as well as work as environmental print. Using a variety of materials from our beautiful things to sort into colours, the children realized that the colours had many different shades as well. We glued paint fan cards onto the charts in order to get a visual of the shades of colour.
Later in the week, when the classes met again I presented them with an inquiry question: “What would happen if we coloured with red, yellow and blue, and then got the colours wet?” The children pondered over this question stating that the paper would become soggy. Miguel thought that the colours would mix. Brie informed us that the colours would change! Now that really got us excited and interested in going further in our investigation.
As the Monday/Wednesday group set forth on their exploration, they began colouring on coffee filters. I’m sure many of you have tried this same experiment with your students. If you haven’t, you must do it! It is so simple, and the kids love it! It really brings wonder and excitement into the classroom. Even as the kids coloured, they made some discoveries about colour.
H – “Hey! Yellow and blue make green!”
J – “Hey! I just figured it out! Yellow and red make orange! Hey M, come over here! Red and yellow make orange. That’s so cool, right?
Some of the children were more cautious and introverted with their colouring. S quietly made a pattern on her filter, touching each colour as she went along, saying its name. K was determined to only use blue on her coffee filter.
Mrs. Lynchuk – “Okay. So what do you think will happen when the blue gets wet?”
K – “I don’t know.”
This was interesting for K, and the other children to see. Many of them were shocked that K’s didn’t change colour, even though she only used one colour of her coffee filter. However, what did happen was very exciting! Depending on where K coloured, once we sprayed the coffee filter, different shades of blue appeared, after seeping into the white spaces of the filter.
The Tuesday/Thursday group were just as excited to discover what would happen to their filters once they coloured them.
G – “Yellow and red are making orange!”
A – “Look what colour it turned! Green”
We furthered our inquiry, by creating a colour wheel. The children built upon their fine motor skills, through cutting and pasting their shades of colour onto the wheel. Through the few days of working on this, our colour wheel was complete. It was interesting for the children to see and view colour as different shades. The children worked together to label each colour and helped me to find a perfect spot in the classroom to hang it.
I always find these group projects to be so inspiring. I’ve done colour inquiry every year with my students, and each year it is different in some way. One group takes their learning in a different direction then the group prior to them had. This was the first year that I had done a colour wheel, but the children were so fascinated my the variety of shades they had discovered. Especially thanks to K’s stubbornness that they were able to see the many shades of blue! Now, I think I will do a colour wheel every year.
Be open to let your students guide and drive the classroom environment. Their prior experiences they bring will shape the classroom environment figuratively and literally!