Saturday, October 5, 2013

Inquiring About Color

The kids have been exploring color for the past couple of weeks. It started out with a color mixing provocation set out at the beginning of the year that only had two colors.  The reason for only two colors was that I wanted to make sure the kids would take care of the materials before I added a third color. They enjoyed creating the different shades with two colors so much, I kept it that way as long as they were interested (almost 4 weeks!).

I then set up a new one with the three primary colors to see what they would notice. 

They noticed that red and yellow make orange, blue and yellow make green, and blue and red make purple. They enjoyed playing with the colors and mixing them to make new ones but they still seemed more fascinated by the different shades they could make of the colors. They loved trying to make some darker and some lighter. 

To practice asking questions, predicting, and documenting, we put three Skittles in a bowl of water to see what would happen. The results were interesting. They predicted the color would come off.  Some thought the colors would mix! Here is what happened...if they didn't feel the urge to touch the water.  

It was interesting to see who preferred to watch what would happen naturally and who had to touch the water to see what would happen. They documented what they noticed. 

If they touched the water it mixed. One table after playing with the water and mixing them together made a connection and pointed out how they made different shades.

The interest in shades continued with them constantly pointing out different shades that they noticed all around them such as on their clothes,

and other objects in our room. 

One way they explored shades was by squeezing black, white and another color onto the back of a plate.  They turned it over, pressed down and spun the plate.  They noticed that many different lighter and darker shades could be made. 

They also explored creating different shades at the easel. 

One of the things they wondered was whether or not there were different shades of black. They debated about this for quite a while and we decided to find out! One book we read said that black was black. There were no shades. The kids were not satisfied! They felt strongly that if pink was a shade of red, than gray was a shade of black, therefore black did have shades!  One child asked, "What would happen if we tried to make different shades of black?"  I set out materials for them to make this spin art to see what different shades of black they could make. They noticed they could not make black darker, but could make it lighter!  They also explored with black and white paint at the easels. 

We decided to ask an expert about shades of black so we asked our fabulous art teacher, Mrs. Pinto. She said that they were right and gray was a shade of black (at least on a Kindergarter's level).  They were so proud of themselves!  I was proud of their persistence! 

We decided that for a project we wanted to create something to show we had learned that colos come in many different shades.  I told the kids that we needed a new color chart in our room. I loved my old one made by my kinders years ago...

But it is faded and falling apart so we are going to create a new one using some "Beautiful Stuff" that I have stored all over my room!  I set out the materials and some cups and jars.  The kids started out by organizing the materials. Right away they pointed out all of the different shades of each color they saw in the beads, feathers, etc. 

They painted canvases different shades of each color and glued objects that were different shades of the same color onto the canvas. 

Here are the ones that are finished so far. 

The kids will help write the color words to put with each color panel to help them with reading and spelling color words. 

I had noticed that a large percentage of my friends have a lot of trouble with fine motor skills. I decided to have them work those finger muscles hard with a fine motor project that goes with what we had been investigating.  My hubby, Mr. Myers mixed cement into 5 jars and we stuck a branch into each to create a little tree.  The kids took the materials and started wrapping, weaving, stringing, etc.  What a great (and much needed) workout for those finger muscles!  They were tying, braiding, twisting wire...

I was blown away by the teamwork going on. As they worked, I walked around pointing out the behaviors I saw that were showing me good teamwork such as cooperation, encouraging each other, persistence, helping others, asking team mates for help, focus, and saying please and thank you. They even walked around as they were finishing and told the other teams what a good job they had done!  Through this project, I witnessed the community building we had spent the past month working on coming together!  I think that was my favorite part of this project!

The boy who created the yellow beads above proudly exclaimed that he created wind chimes!

They proudly displayed them on their tables and they make a beautiful addition to our room!

Our school secretary asked us if we would make a multicolored one for the office! They were so excited and plan on working on it next week!  Next week, I will post the finished color chart for you!

The kids have been bringing me leaves and commenting on the different shades they are noticing. We may dive into the shades of nature next week!

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