Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Teaching Colors to Preschoolers Through Process Art

Everyone loves rainbows...especially young children!  While most kids come to me knowing 'their colors', (usually with very strong opinions about one or two) a review and assessment is always an important part to the beginning of the year activities. I love teaching a unit about colors.  We sort objects by color, talk about our favorite color, paint with colors, and thanks to my co-teacher's wonderful idea-we make an amazing rainbow with a variety of materials and LOTS of glue!

This hands-on activity is so much fun for the kids.  They love choosing buttons, feathers, sequins, and other objects to become part of our rainbow.  They literally gasp as our rainbow takes shape and becomes a true work of art!

We start out with a tabletop size of light blue bulletin board paper.  Then we take rainbow colors of markers to sketch out the borders of our rainbow.  Our first line is red, then we add pink...because...you know...pink is important!  Then orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  We use white crayons to make a couple of white clouds in the sky and our template is complete.  

Next, we fill pie tins with anything and everything we can find to make our rainbow!  I love to use buttons, sequins, tissue squares, pom-poms, feathers and paper scraps. We make sure we have full bottles of liquid glue-enough for each student that will come to our 'Rainbow Center'.  I also add glue sticks for the materials such as tissue squares that will stick without liquid glue. Then we tape down the paper and get ready for fun!

Some students will stay at this center for all of center time, but some will come and go...and come back again as the rainbow takes shape.  With my 3-4's, I have to really guide them to match the color of the objects to the color in the rainbow.  We do a lot of talking about colors at this center, I usually have a notecard handy to make notes as I assess color knowledge and awareness.  This activity will give me a good idea of which kids need help correctly identifying colors.  My pre-k kids are old pros at this activity and we get a chance to work together and chat about everything from our favorite colors to our favorite super heroes.  Another thing I love about running this center is that I get a chance to participate with the kids.  I love to ask if the green button goes on the purple stripe...they always love teaching the teacher how to do it right!

When our rainbow is complete, we find a safe place for it to dry.  it usually takes a day or two.  Then we display the rainbow in our classroom for a couple of weeks.  The kids absolutely love it!  

I save our rainbows in my storage room and they come out at the end of the year as part of our end of the year art show.  They really are quite beautiful, and a fantastic example of preschool process art!

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