Color Chemists {and a freebie}

We are still learning all about colors.  The kids are so intrigued by how primary colors change when they are mixed together.  I am trying my best to convince them that it is not "magic" so the more centers that touch on this concept the better.

We have been "straw painting."  They absolutely love this.  Me, not so much since there is a high likelihood of paint spattering all over the place.  It's worth it though!

I mixed red, blue and yellow paint with water until it was thin - almost the consistency of water.  I then cut fingerpainting paper to fit inside of a plastic tray to minimize mess.  

Easy-Clean Craft Trays - Set of 4
 The trays I used are these ones from Lakeshore
Students picked two colors and either spooned a bit onto their papers or covered the straw with their finger to suck some up and let it go on the paper.

The kids set to work blowing the paint around until the two colors mixed together and they could discover what new color their two primary colors made.  They adored this!
 I have also had a color mixing center in the water table with different color combinations each day.  As you can see in the picture I filled up two large bowls with yellow water.  I filled an empty soap container, a spray bottle and an empty contact lens solution bottle with red water and let them go to town mixing the colors together.  They adored this.  Who can argue against learning through play?  Not this girl.  I see how much more my students learn when they are doing hands on experimentation verses when I am just telling them something.
And here is the "after" photo.  Now that they have mastered mixing primary colors, we are working on figuring out how different shades of colors are made.  For example here I asked them "Why do you think that the bowl on the left is dark orange, and the bowl on the right is a lighter orange?"  Some of them get this right away and others not so much. 

We have Small Group time in my classroom every day.  This is a 15 minute time period where students receive direct, differentiated instruction from myself and my para.  This is when I do activities that need a high level of support.  There are five groups total (one per day).  Two work with us each day, and the other three have a writing activity, reading activity or fine motor activity.  Everyone rotates through each center.

This week during small groups we were chemists!  I used three recycled bottles, filled them with water and put about 7 drops of food coloring in each bottle to make the colors strong and vibrant.  I like using a variety of types of bottles to keep things interesting and help them practice pouring.

I told my littles that they were chemists, a type of scientists who mixes things together to see what would happen.  I stressed that scientists always make predictions and record their data.  First I introduced which two colors we would be mixing, and asked each child to predict what would happen when we put both colors into our cup.  This quick assessment let me know who understood color mixing and who needs more practice and support.  Then we mixed the colors and recorded it on our recording sheet (see below). 

We made orange, green and purple.  After we were all done recording, I asked them to predict what would happen if we put more blue into the green cup, and more yellow into the orange cup.  They now understand that adding a dark color will darken the color, and adding a light color will lighten it.

At the very end we ended up mixing all the colors together, just for fun :)

Here is the recording sheet I whipped up for this.  I loved this sheet because they understood the + and = signs.  You can grab a copy by clicking the picture!

1 comment

Miss Trayers said...

Love the idea of color mixing at the water table! The kids are always so amazed even when we just watercolor at all the colors they can make. Looks like your kiddos had a blast!