Revisiting the Rainbow and Blending Pastels – Kindergarten

Kindergarten revisited the rainbow and color theory using oil pastels this week.

We reviewed the “Roy G. Biv” acronym to help us remember what order the colors come in and I introduced them to oil pastels.  Many of my other classes are using them right now and I love the results (and mess) that you get from them so I thought we could practice some blending.  Anything you do in Kindergarten is like magic for the students, so of course when I showed them how a kleenex tissue could blend colors, they were amazed.

First,  I have students use a yellow oil pastel to draw a line across the middle of the page.  This helps them space their rainbow out.  Then, using the red, I have them fill in a chunk (and yes, I use this term because it keeps them from going too skinny) of the paper, noting to them that it should be about as wide as your pinky.  From there, I have them do the same with orange, and then finally, yellow which would then be filled in to the line that they drew in the beginning.  At this point we stop and talk about the warm colors and their qualities.

Next, I have them repeat the process with green, then blue and finally purple which brings us to the end of the page.  We talk about the cool colors at this point and how they differ from the warm colors.

Using a tissue, I show them how if you rub the area where two colors mix, the colors start to combine with one another and it looks like a rainbow you would see in the sky.  I also show them how if you rub really hard, the colors start to fade away, as if they were disappearing.  It’s like magic and students really enjoy this step.

Kindergarteners have just learned about the life cycle of a butterfly so to bring that to our classroom, we used white crayon on black paper to draw a simple butterfly.  Then, using pattern and line we created Zentangle like designs within each wing of the butterfly.  We will cut this out and paste it on our rainbow background.

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2 responses to “Revisiting the Rainbow and Blending Pastels – Kindergarten

  1. I just came upon your website. I would like to know how do you address the color of Indigo? I’ve noticed some teachers introduce the primary and secondary colours of Roy G BV. I think using the rainbow is a really great to introduce the basic color theory.

    • So sorry to have just seen your comments. My summer was insane. I tend to start with the tradtional rainbow, without indigo, first and then as the year develops, add indigo in to talk about how there are colors in between those that we know from when we first start coloring. For instance, I would have a conversation stating “If there is Indigo between Blue and Violet, could that mean we could have a color between Red and Orange?” I haven’t quite figured out the best way to use Indigo in color theory when Roy GBV is much better mathematically.

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