I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

20 January 2012

Science of Color

I like teaching about color, light, and color theory in Kindergarten for many reasons, but definitely the art/science projects that come out of the unit are a total bonus.  This project is easy and extremely fun.  The results are impressive, and the kids engage in a lot of hands-on learning about color blending and secondary and tertiary colors while completing the project.

Downside: unless you have the materials on hand, which I generally do, it's kind of expensive.  You could do the same project with contact paper, which is cheaper than laminate sheets, but the results are not as good.  Tissue paper doesn't allow the same color-blending effects as cellophane does.

Stained Glass Window Sheets
You will need:
Teacher Preparation (approximately 15 minutes):
  • cut laminating sheets in half*
  • cut colored cellophane into various pieces: cut some smaller and some slightly larger shapes, roll sheets and cut to create long, thin pieces, etc.
  • portion cut cellophane for student use (I use cafeteria trays and put out enough for 2-3 students to share one tray)
  • completed or partially-completed project so that students know what to do
Student Instruction (5 - 10 mintues):
  • Explain that students will be making a stained-glass like project while exploring color blending.
  • Review color blending already taught.
  • Demonstrate how to remove the backing from the laminate sheet and how to affix cellophane to the sheet.  Remind students to keep the sticky side up.
  • Note that all adhesive should be covered (no clear areas left) and that pieces can and should overlap.
  • Younger students should be directed that the confetti-throwing approach leads to heartbreak and mess, as pieces do not stick and fall to the floor, where students will have to pick them up because their teacher is old and does not like stooping.
  • Identify procedures for completing the project, cleaning the work area, and activities for early finishers.
  • Send students to begin project.
Project Completion (20 - 30 minutes):
  • Circulate and monitor, drawing out student observations about color and color blending.  (I like to do this while working on my own project; I stop by each table and sit with the kids for a couple of minutes before moving to another table).
  • As students finish, assist in finishing the project: using the other half of the laminate sheet to seal the work closed, trimming any sticky ends, and writing students' names.  A hole punch will allow projects to be hung.
We did this yesterday and the results were pretty awesome; this is one of those projects where other teachers ask you how to do it and to borrow materials.  It's almost as cool as the primary color blending paddles the kids made last week, which are very labor-intensive but worth it.

*Alternatively, you could use two sheets per project, or simply remove half the backing from a sheet and have students fold the project over to seal it shut.  This has the added bonus of not needing teacher assistance to complete the project but can be difficult for young students to manage.

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