Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows... the Frog once asked. Well, maybe because they're the AWESOME?

My Kindergarteners seem to think so judging from their enthusiasm and the joy their paintings show.

But I am getting ahead of myself here. So, kindergarten studies rainbows as a Science unit. So I did my art scaffolding routine, natch. I mean, how can I not?

I really love the book A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman. It just creates this "anything can happen" atmosphere that right off the bat draws kids in and allows them to start imagining their own rainbow, so we read it together. Natch.

Then, because I am big fan of sign language and music, I teach the kids I Can Sing a Rainbow. It lists colors of the rainbow, well actually not the actual colors of an actual rainbow because then the song would have to include indigo and violet and blue is easier to rhyme, I guess. Plus, they learn the real ROYGBIV colors in science. Artistic license, folks! But I do mention ROYGBIV to them just to clarify. But mostly they just want to paint a rainbow of their very own.

So now let's see what the K's came up with rainbow-wise:

First, we thought talked about what happened in the book. Then we put ourselves into the story. And drew. 
And drew some more. With pencil first then crayon. Some kids wanted a friend or sibling in their story picture. It's good to share a rainbow
Now we can paint!
And paint. Of course we use watercolors because they are translucent. So are rainbows!
Watercolors are so perfect for K's. They can work at their own pace mastering the technique and they always looks bright and beautiful.
Told ya.
The end of the rainbow. Or just the beginning?

Speaking of endings and beginnings...indulge me in a little advocacy and maybe even some outrage? (outrage is good sometimes, if it's directed and action-based.)

Firstly, President Obama. this little (and I mean little) Turnaround Arts Initiative you, err...initiated...seems a bit of a lame attempt at acknowledging the true importance the arts play in all of our children's education. Not just the lucky recipients of 8 schools. EIGHT? How did you come up with that number? Funny, the arts plays a large, critical role in your own daughter's school...I bet you knew that when you enrolled them. Just thought I'd throw that out there. If I was allowed a place at your cozy roundtable of "ed reformers" I would show you and Arne Duncan all the beautiful art my kids do with me and how it allows them to experience joy, creativity, develop and refine a personal aesthetic, fine motor skills and use higher-order thinking. But I wasn't invited to the table. we don't leave on a non-magical, non-rainbow-colored note: The Frog wants to remind you to watch this:


  1. thanks Altax! It's always amazing to me how beautiful children's art work can be.