A Colorful Giveaway!

Pushpop artHow many of you have lost track of which day of the week it is? 🙂 Isn’t the lack of a schedule one of the best perks of summer vacation? Oh, and no Sunday prep work—that runs a close second in my book!

Well, I’m mixing things up a bit by having a giveaway today. I seem to remember promising a few surprises this summer, and I always keep my promises! So let’s talk color! Maybe you have a favorite idea for teaching colors or color words. Maybe you use color in a special way that engages students. Or perhaps you organize by color. Heck, you may even have a favorite activity that uses colorful paint chips!  Share a colorful idea right here at the blog, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a free book from The Mailbox. If you win, you get to choose which of our books you want! Just be sure to leave your comment before midnight (EDT) July 10. And there’s more! If your idea is selected for purchase by one of our editors, you’ll earn a $20 gift certificate!

Eager to hear your rainbow of ideas!


58 thoughts on “A Colorful Giveaway!

  1. To teach Primary student about Primary and Secondary Colors I have the experience the changes.
    We begin and discuss the Primary colors of Red, Blue, & Yellow.
    I usually have a chart made for the younger students to paint.
    Then we mix red and blue-purple, yellow and blue-green, red and yellow- orange and now have Secondary colors.
    We continue mixing to understand how new colors are created.

  2. I use paint sample papers from hardware stores to teach kids about using adjectives to make their writing more interesting. The students are given a paint sample with a unique name (not just blue or pink) and they have to write a story using that sample’s name. For example, instead of saying the dress was yellow….they might say the dress looked like golden sunshine.

  3. In my Pre 3 class, we talk about colors daily. We match the color of clothes everyone is wearing and what colors are on the toys and books we use daily. We look for colors as we are on the playground. The more exposure I can give each child, the easier time they have identifying all the colors.

  4. I teach 6th grade so I don’t teach colors but the way that I use color in my room is I color code all of the subjects. I use red for Social Studies because their Social Studies book is red, green for Math (for the same reason) and purple for ELA (for the same reason). I do this not only to keep myself organized, I do it to teach my students an organziation skill that they can carry on to Jr High next year and as a life long skill.

  5. One year, I had a class of preschoolers who did not know their colors. I used M & M’s. We sorted them, graphed them, counted them. When they were finished, I announced a color and the children would eat that color of M & M’s. I think it was their favorite activity.

  6. Back when I worked in my pre-k classroom, colors was something we focused on a lot considering nature is full of them. As we went for our nature walk, I would have the children chose something from nature such as leaves, flowers, acorns, grass, etc… to take back to the classroom. We would die at the art table and talk about what colors they chose. From there, I would ask them how they got those colors. The children would then blend two different colors of paints together to see if it would match their collection. They would use the correct combination to paint a picture of their collection. They lived to get messy and enjoy nature’s beauty at the same time.

  7. Most of the 4 year olds that I teach know their colors, but we did read Lois Elhert’s Planting a Rainbow and then they got to paint a rainbow of handprint flowers of every color.

  8. When I student taught in kindergarten, I did a whole class lesson focusing on “mixing colors.” Before the activity we read a book about colors (can not remember the title) and talked about colors, primary colors, and secondary colors (which a few students knew the vocabulary), For the activity, each student got a little piece of homemade playdough of red and yellow, which then we blended them together to discover the new color. We did this to create each secondary color. The students really loved the activity, got the concept of colors, and of course got to take the playdough home. 🙂

  9. In my 4 year class I write the color words in rhymes songs in the color the word says. The kids love it as they are reading.

  10. We use color words in our writing in my kindergarten class to create a vivid sentences. The students will write what color something is and then compare something else that is that color. they use color words to add detail to their writing and to their pictures. We play hangman and one of the sets of words that we choose from is our color words. Also, I am a very visual person and I like a lot of color in my classroom decoration…such as green frogs, red lady bugs, yellow suns, etc.

  11. This year we painted on newspaper with tissue paper and created TALL birds..lots of fun. One of our projects was chosen by the local art museum to use as a print for Thank you notes! The other project chosen was a paint blown monster! Very colorful birds and monsters
    I love art!!

    Our school is showing about 244 pieces of student art at the North Dakota State Fair coming up in July. I take the art to the fairgrounds on July 11.

  12. When I taught K,during the first week of school, I would bring in different fruits,and veggies. We identify the colors and the names of the fruit and veggies. As the week progresses, we would make a “friendship” salad using the fruit. Another day, we would eat the veggies for snack. I would also have the students write/draw about their favorite fuit/veggie. Not only does this provide an opportunity to discuss colors, fruit/veggie vocabulary, it also focuses on becoming a classroom community .This is a fun and colorful way to begin the new school year! 🙂 ( Retired after 32 years teaching K/1st)

  13. I use color coding to keep my gradebook. Both my computerized and my old school paper copy. Ant grade below a C is recorded in red, C or higher is black. This gives a quick visual on what needs to be reinforced and for whom.

  14. I teach pre k 2 , to help teach colors and color names I cut construction paper into strips ( about 1 x7″ ) using colors that we are focusing on that week. I write the name of the color on the strip. I form a loop with the first strip and staple it closed. This makes a more secure loop. I add another strip and form a link, and repeat with each strip to form a chain. My class loves to carry their chains around our room, outside and home to search for colors that match. I have used color chains to teach colors in nature, (ex. flowers, fall leaves,and rainbows) and math.(counting, sorting and patterns) We have color searches where we form teams and collect things in our room that match each link. This is a fun activity. The children work together and learn as their having fun!

  15. I use White Rabbit’s Color Book in Kindergarten to talk about Primary Colors and mixing them to get Secondary Colors.
    The tables in my classroom are also color coded to create cooperative learning groups.

  16. To help my children learn about colors i play the color hunt game. The children have to find an object of that color( blue, green..) in the room.Its a fun way to learn about colors.

  17. When I taught pre-k I would do a whole unit on discussing colors. We began our week by looking at the color wheel. We discussed primary and secondary colors. Students would then get to create their own (accurate) color wheel. After this we focused on a new color each day. Each day we would discuss the new color, where we see that color, and go on a color hunt in our classroom. I then would incorporate an art project with the color of the day. For example, during blue day students got to “paint” using blueberries! For orange day we had a special snack of oranges and discussed how it was a fruit and a color, we talked about which they thought came first. After teaching all of the colors we incorporated them in our morning meeting and our Spanish lessons. Students learned a Spanish color song that they loved which incorporated both English and Spanish names for colors! I teach 2nd now but I sure do miss our color theme!

  18. Second grade–we use paint swatches to keep our important computer passwords on for a quick check. We also used the swatches to show “shades of meaning” in language. They write their adjective on the lightest shade and then try to find stronger words for the darker shades.

  19. I have a day in which I emphasize a color. I use a color song and all students are given the same color paper shape and stand up or sit down as directed for that color. Art is a collage using this color and a play dough is often used with that same color.

  20. For a fun colorful treat, we let the students mix small dollups of colored vanilla frosting on a graham cracker using popsicle sticks. We start by dividing the frosting container into thirds and making a red, blue, and yellow portion by adding food coloring. We place a small spoonful of each color on a paper plate. The students can then use their popsicle stick to gather a small amount of two of the colors and put them on their graham cracker. We encourage them to mix the colors using the flat portion of the popsicle stick. It’s fun to see their excitement as a new color appears.

  21. Designate one day as color day and have children come dressed in different colors. Then, set up the class in rainbow order.
    Play I spy – using colors (I spy … something blue.) Whoever’s turn it is gets to hold a puppet and make it talk, to say what it sees.

  22. I teach a combine class of prek 3 and 4.On rainy days when we can’t go outside we play a game where the kids pick a color square from a container. I placed around the room corresponding pieces of colored paper. I then put on a fast paced song and tell them how they should move around the room, ie ( frog hopping, skipping, walking) when the music stops they have to find the color sheet that matches their colored square. I encourage them to help each other if a friend can’t find the correct spot by having them call out, “____(color) is over here” . Once everyone has found their color location the kids come back to the carpet and put their color squares back in the container and we do it all again.

  23. All of the subjects taught in my classroom are color coded from notes I hand out, labels, bins, and decor. That way both the kids and myself are able to keep track of assignments. It really keeps all of us organized.

  24. I love to use colors in my classroom to help us all stay organized. For example, my students have leaderships assignments, or classroom jobs in our classroom, and colored file folders help them find their paperwork to chart and complete their weekly assignment and earn a wage, as well as fines for breaking rules/expectations. Colors help students know what to do and earn money to spend at our classroom store.

  25. On St. Patrick’s Day, a leprechaun leaves us a note inviting my pre-k class on a rainbow scavenger hunt. I place colored papers in rainbow order around the building, each with a different task for them to do. Once the kids have followed the rainbow, they end at a pot of gold- with a special rainbow snack and the materials to make a rainbow bead bracelet to take home.

  26. I color code as much as possible: my filing system, groups by color, colored rolling cart sorted by subject, student notebooks color coded by subject, paint samples for interactive journals, anchor charts, and colored pencils for the writing process. My kids always love it when I use the colored anchor chart paper!

  27. I’m always interested in my student’s favorite color. I like to graph the results for math class.

  28. I love to teach colors! I use the book mouse paint. They love to make their mice, paint them and combine the paints to make purple, green and orange. I also love using the rainbow to teach colors. We make rainbows in a bag. We paint rainbows. We make rainbows out of tissue squares. We read about rainbows! They love to create so we create! !!!

  29. Even Firsties can be organized! I begin the year with a different colored folder for each subject (i.e. red-reading). We also have a go home folder for work completed. We practice taking out folders and putting work in folders. I do a lot of double checking that papers are not just stuffed in their desk. The kids quickly learn the schedule and know what folder needs to be out and what to do with papers they are still working on. It is also great for earlier finishers who can go back and work on projects in their different folders.

  30. When you have snow, place a small pile onto a tray or plate. With eye droppers and various colored water in cups have the child mix colors as they drop it onto the snow. Talk to them about the colors they’re using, why they are using those colors, what will happen with the next color they choose, etc. When they are done experimenting with the color blending, have them scoop it into a clear cup and set it aside for the next day. When they are done putting the icy slush into the cup, have them predict what will happen if they keep it until the next day on the counter (what color will it be, will it turn back to snow, will it be soft or hard etc.). The next day have them review what they predicted and discuss the result in the cup. If you want to extend it one more day, put the cup into the freezer and have them predict what will happen (color, texture, etc.) The next day review their prediction and again discuss the changes and how it happened. A graph could be made with the changes and writing the new vocabulary words. Our preschool class really had fun with this science project.

  31. I work with special needs students in grades 3-5 and we use color every day! One of my favorite activities that my 4th grade students enjoy is making a Native American mask. We use a cereal box front or back to cut out a face shape and cut out the eyes. The students then use markers to decorate their faces using the colors that Native Americans would have used. (We talk about what they used and how they made their paint.) They use a hole punch to punch holes around the face (from where one ear begins, around the top of the head, ending at the other ear). They cut pieces of black yarn in 5″ pieces and loop them individually through the holes to form the hair. I incorporate a writing activity and have them tell how/where their mask would be used by a Native American. We display these in our Media Center.

  32. I teach ECSE, since I have 2 half day sessions, I use yellow for the morning class and orange for the afternoon class. Helps me stay organized with each class. I use the colors for name tags, coat hooks, folders to send home and back to school, just to name a few things.

  33. I use colored paint chip samples to create steps of the writing process. Each step has a color and they move along a sticky arrow to keep up with their level.

  34. I have a color activity using a honey bear container that turns the bear into all kinds of colors as he s jealous of other animals (green, alligator, yellow bird etc) then at the end he turns back into white before your eyes! the older kids love it

  35. I teach kindergarten so there is definitely lots of learning and working with colors. At the beginning of each year we cut pictures from magazines to match colored paper. This is put up on a wall to display the colors along with color words. The kids have tons of fun with this activity and I love being able to display their work in a useful way from day 1!

  36. I use color with clear hair gel, food coloring, and ziplock bags. The students write letters or words using their fingers on the zip lock bags. The students love the color (especially if you can find hair gel that has glitter in it, or if you place glitter in it) and it reinforces letters, or words. The texture of the bags is enjoyable to the students too.

  37. We read the book “The Crayon Box That Talks” & discuss all the colors & how they can work together. At the end of the book I give each child a different color crayon & then they work together.

  38. Ice berg painting is a cool way to let the kiddos mix colors.
    Freeze water in a paper cup. Peel off and give each child a eyedropper and assorted watercolors. Drip drip on the ice. As the ice melts the colors will blend. The ice will develop small cracks and the paint will enter them. Its very cool and pretty too.

  39. One year I was the push in Special Ed. teacher. I taught K to 4th grade. The kindergarten students were learning color word and the 4th graders were learning about light and reflection and refraction, I had them work together. We ‘played’ with prisms, learned the colors of the rainbow, made rainbows out of Fruit Loops, and had trays of colored sand where the students had to write the appropriate color word. The kids loved the day and retained a lot of information.

  40. In kindergarten we read the book, Mousse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Then I would put the primary colors into a plastic baggie, I squirt of each color, tape it shut and let the kids mix the colors to make new colors. Afterwards we concluded that all colors (secondary) are made from those 3 colors (Primary) and work on the vocabulary. It is a fun activity!

  41. For a fun color-mixing treat I take three tubs of Cool-Whip and dye one red, one blue, and one yellow with food coloring. The students each receive a small bowl and get to choose two colors of Cool-Whip for their bowl. When they get back to their seat they mix their two colors to get a new color. After graphing our results they can have a fun treat.

  42. I just finished my first year as a teacher. I had 18 first-, second- and third-grade monolingual and bilingual special education students. I made a board with paper cutout paint cans and paintbrushes. The English word for the color was on the can and the brushes had the Spanish word on it. What I had meant as a reference for my students became a learning opportunity. They worked together to learn the colors, tested one another and would go to the board if they were waiting patiently for me to finish with another student. The ESL teacher used my room too and he said his students used it, as did older students who would stop in to visit. By the end of the year, all of my students knew the all the colors in both languages, how to spell them and which ones could be mixed to make other colors. But not only did they learn their colors, they learned teamwork, patience and how to use resources appropriately. It was a good lesson for me too.

  43. I use color coding in my math posters for the vocabulary. I would write the vocabulary words in different colors followed by their definition, then every time I wrote that word again, I would write it in that same color so the students could easily find it and its definition.

  44. Here is a color song that I began using many years ago right after college. I still use it today. Children love to focus on what they are wearing and find the different colors.

    Tune: If you’re happy and you know it”; verses can be sung in any order

    If your clothes have any red, any red;
    If your clothes have any red, any red;
    If your clothes have any red, put your finger on your head;
    If your clothes have any red, any red.

    Then continue with each color as follows:

    blue- put your finger on your shoe
    yellow- smile like a happy fellow
    brown- give a little frown
    green-give a little scream, ahhh!
    black- put your hands behind your back
    white- give a little fright, boo!
    pink- give a little wink

  45. I teach 3’s in preschool. We love the book “White Rabbit’s Color Book.” After reading, I let each child pick two colors, put a glob of each on a paper and they can mix them up and create whatever they desire. We also love to play a game I call Color Hop. I made flashcards of the different colors and threw in a few that have a picture of a rather happy rabbit. The children call out the colors as you go through the cards. When the rabbit shows up, they get to hop around!! They love it!!

  46. We made a colorful surprise for crazy week. I dyed 2 lbs of spaghetti in four batches with food coloring in the water. Then had rainbow pasta for lunch with love oil butter park and valid! Oh yes and

    Rainbow spaghetti dyedi n four batches with food coloring in the boiling wat er! Then olive oil garlic parsley and basil from the class garden topped with parm. Thee threes and fours ate this up and we talked/about colors! Fun day!

    basil from the class

  47. When teaching my second class about how to write an organized, descriptive paragraph, I used color to show students an example of a perfect paragraph. Red was the topic sentence/hook sentence, yellow were the 3 key details, and green was the closing sentence. Then when students wrote their own paragraphs, I color coded the graphic organizer, and the kids then color coded drafts as they peer edited. The kids loved it and I really show improvements in their writing.

  48. I teach students with special needs:) I love to use sign language to reinforce color words and vocabulary words. I have found out that if I combine a word with sign language, my students usually remember the word. Almost all of my students have learned their colors by using sign language. I even had a few that learned the sign for the color before they learn how to say the word. Betty

  49. I work with toddlers and I also use different colored gingerbread type figures out of felt and we sing the song there are five in the bed and the little one says roll over and they each get to pick their favorite color. But I always sign the color first and they imitate me and we practice. then after everyone has one I do the sign and ask who has (red) then that child hands it to me. after a while I can just sign the color and some of the children know it is there color without me saying it.

  50. I like to use the paint samples you get from Home Depot to help teach kids color shades. I use the paint cards that have 5-6 shades of a particular color. I cut the squares up and then the kids sort the color shades . For example, i might have a red, blue, green, and yellow bowl and the kids look for the shades that match those colors…from light to dark shades,

  51. To help my students understand that reading carefully is very important, I write the color words in a different color. Then I have the students read through the list of word aloud, like in spelling bee style, to see if they read the word or the color.

  52. At the beginning of the year we have a color of the week. We make our shape of the week using the color, write our names in the color, make rhymes with the color name, what ever we do I tie into the color. I did find that I could skip a few colors, every child this year knew red and yellow and most knew orange and green. I used these after I did blue, purple, brown and black.

  53. Lots of creative ideas I just read!
    I like to do a color day for kindergarten: little things like this require no effort on my part and make school fun for them. They are so excited to wear purple! or green! or yellow!
    I color code my daily schedule pocket chart. Saturday and Sunday are printed on red strips, the other 5 days on blue strips. This helps the children learn about week days and the weekend.
    I use colored paper clips to aid in quickly finding the right pages in my grade book. I use green for science because green plants grow, red for language arts, blue for math, yellow for Bible, black for attendance pages.

  54. I use prism glasses when talking to my intermediate students about refraction of colors. I also have them create interference of light reflection with good old fashioned soap bubbles. They love trying to see all the colors on the visible spectrum.

  55. To teach different emotions , I use colors to help illustrate my point. For example, I use the color blue to illustrate sadness. I use the color red to describe anger. Colors can help illustrate emotions. It is a great way to reinforce idioms.

  56. I teach secondary colors in preschool by painting both of the child’s hands a different primary color. The child makes hand prints on a piece of paper and then rubs his hands together. When the new color can be seen, the child makes an additional hand print on his paper. The children usually want to try again with the same set of primary colors or want to use a different combination to see what will happen.

  57. I start out the kindergarten year teaching a color a week and then one day of the week we dress in that color. The kids like to create a craft each week with the color also. Sometimes we eat things the color of the week. We also search in the classroom for hidden colors. The more you can incorporate it into all area of learning helps.

  58. My students always want to mix play dough colors. Therefore, we make a color-creating activity out of it. Students get to pick 2 of the primary colors (red, blue, yellow), and they have to completely mix them together. Before they mix them, though, they tape 2 circle cut outs of paper matching their play dough colors onto a small sandwich bag. They write a plus sign between the taped colored circles. Next, they put an equals sign after the last color. They then begin mixing the play dough together. Seeing that two colors become one is very exciting to them. Once the colors are completely mixed (and they finish playing with their new-color play dough), they put the play dough in the sandwich bag with the color equation on it. They get to take the bag home and show their families the experiment that they completed. Always a fun color activity. 🙂

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