Color Mixing

The children came to the easel eager to paint, realizing that the paint needed to be set out.  They grabbed ice cube trays, and began assisting the teacher in choosing what colors should be placed in the tray.

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The colors chosen provide an opportunity to create secondary colors.  As the children began mixing and stirring the paint, they were able to see new colors evolve.

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They spent time observing the colors other children were making.  This led to the children asking questions like,

“I want that color!”

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“How did you make that color?”

These questions provided an opportunity for the children to evaluate what they did.

– What colors did they use to create the secondary color
–  How much of the colors did they use.  What what the main color, and what was added.  We have spent time describing colors as “strong” and “weak”.  The weak color, for example yellow or white, only needs a dab of red or blue to change the color to pink or green.
– How do they get the same shade as the previous child

These questions also provided an opportunity for the child who created the color to “explain”, “give directions”, and “describe” HOW to make the color.  This is valuable in our curriculum, because our children are growing up in a world where they need to be able to communicate successfully.

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As they continued to paint one of the children brought attention to the color she created.  She said, “Look!  I made this color, but I don’t know what it is called.”

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Other children came to join the discussion, and by the end of the conversation, they decided the name was “teal”.

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After this discovery, all of the painting she did, was solely with “teal”.  This showed her accomplishment!  She had pride in her discovery and no other color compared to the “teal” she had just created!

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THE ART OF TEACHING IS THE ART OF ASSISTING DISCOVERY – Mark Van Doren

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