Saturday, January 28, 2012

Exploring Colour Mixing

Our emergent topic of blue+yellow= green started when a group of children made a great learning discovery at the art table.  We had put out pastels and paper, with the intention of building fine motor skills, discovery and creative expression.  A wonderful learning experience emerged when 'Saa' discovered that a yellow pastel-  coloured over the blue pastel- turns to the colour green.  She had this amazing expression of wonder on her face, like a light-bulb just turn on in her brain. She looked at me- She didn't speak, but her facial expression seemed to say, "I just discovered something really cool with the art material".  We had a lovely group discussion about colours and colour mixing.  The other children at the table quickly joined in the discovery, attempting to recreate the same colour mixing on their own paper.   

These are the provocations that we introduced over the next few classes, based on the interest of the group.

A story about colour mixing, friendship, being yourself and inclusion.
The book was out of the library, so I made up a prop story using pompoms.  I squished together a blue and yellow piece of play dough to demonstrate the part of the story where they turn green.  During group time, the children were sitting so still throughout the story- silent, with big eyes watching- even the wiggly-young-boys were silent and still.

Some of the children were interested in cars and had been driving over 'mountains' and through 'valleys' in the block area. Bringing something of interest into the art area encouraged the few art-reluctant children (boys) to investigate the activity. 'A' eagerly drove the cars through the paint and all around the paper, smiling from ear-to-ear. 

Alhamdulillah, Allah gave us a perfect natural material to use in the classroom.  Snow made a great material to explore colour mixing and also expand knowledge about temperature, melting, sold/liquid, Allah's creation, weather...

We started out in the water table with a simple colour mixing science experiment, then later added more water and tools to extend the exploration. 

Play dough is always a big hit with the children.  A wonderful sensory exploration that is perfect for building fine motor skills and creativity.  It works phenomenally for a hands-on experience in colour mixing. 
 By the end of class-all the play dough was a nice green colour.

Of course, we had to bring the science of colour mixing with us when we went outside.  Most of the children spent the whole outdoor time turning the snow into colouful designs.   This time- yellow snow was safe to touch!

Math and Manipulatives:  Do they weight the same?  Lets count how many.   Lets  make a pattern or sequence with the blocks.  There are many easy ways to expand the interest of the group into different curriculum areas.  

More colour mixing-squishy bags.

It is always a joy to experience learning with the children- and I thank Allah for every second I get to spend with the children- engaged in meaningful learning experiences together.  One of our goals for the children is to discover ideas and knowledge themselves, instead of the teachers 'telling' them.  Yes, we often 'set up' the environment for these discoveries to happen (and often the children discover additional things we were not 'planning' for)- but when the children figure things out for themselves, the learning will 'stick' with them- it becomes meaningful to them...Their new brain connections are set for life, insha'allah.

Play = Learning

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