A lesson in color mixing

A neat way to explore primary and secondary colors with your preschoolers!

All through out the year, I give my students lots of opportunities for exploring concepts such as color mixing but along with the freedom to independently explore, I will often take the time to sit down with my students and walk through a concept. This lesson in color mixing is an example of such a time…

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Preparing the Investigation

Anytime there is a process that I want to guide my students through, I find it best if I really think through what approach will work the best. Will it be better to add a dot of color on each circle graph or leave the graph blank? Will it be better to prepare the colors of paint ahead of time or invite the children to add their own colors? Will it be better to use one brush with a cup of water or lots of brushes and no water?  Will my students find “Plan A” more  interesting and easy to understand or should I go with “Plan B?” What kind of information do I really expect my students to walk away with and remember?..

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Remaining Flexible

As much as I think ahead, I almost always find that something doesn’t go as planned and so regardless of the plan I choose to go with, I know that it is important to remain flexible and not get too focused on the “lesson” but to instead stay focused on the purpose. Ultimately, the purpose in this lesson was to break down the process of color mixing and to open up discussion that promotes critical thinking and inquiry. We began by asking questions like “What do you think will happen if we mix red with blue ?” and then we searched for answers…

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Beginning the Color Mixing

In this type of lesson, I guide my students through the steps to answer our questions. We began by painting red on one triangle then moved on to painting a second triangle with the yellow…

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Honoring the Interests of the Child

In my mind, each child would skip a space in the color wheel to paint the two colors but my first error in planning showed up right away. The children went off in different directions with the two colors. Some painted side-by-side, some painted with the yellow right on top of the red, and others skipped a space. Did that mean this lesson was a fail? As Pete the Cat might say say, “Goodness No!” Colors come and colors go – so we just kept on plugging along….

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Exploring Primary and Secondary Colors

Our oldest students began to catch on to how to apply and mix the paint on the color wheel so that they would be able to see every color on their wheel where our youngest students got a little confused about the idea of spacing out their colors. But the lesson still was a success as the children worked to intentionally select two different colors  and mix them together to make a third color…

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

And along the way, I realized that it was best for the children to use different paint brushes so that their colors would not get so muffed up on the brushes. So at the very last minute, we pulled out cotton swabs to use for mixing our colors…

A lesson in color mixing by Teach Preschool

Reflections on the Experience

I am sure you have had a lesson where the plan didn’t quite go as you had originally thought. Did you make an adjustment? Did you scrap the idea altogether? Want to tell me about it?  Leave a comment below and we will continue this discussion…

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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