Colored vision

This week we didn’t change the color of things. We changed the way we saw those things by looking through colored lenses.

I introduced this week’s lesson by reading Ellen Stoll Walsh’s book, Mouse Paint, in small groups. (The book is recommended in the PEEP science curriculum‘s Color unit.) I then provided a set of three white mouse finger puppets perched atop our colored water bottles, as well as a set of color paddles for the children’s use. The actual mice stayed white, but appeared very different depending on which paddle the students looked through. It was interesting to watch them look at the mice through a colored paddle and then quickly take the paddle away to check that the mouse was, indeed, still really white.

Some children noticed that the water bottles appeared to be a different color, too. While Silanda’s white mouse and red water both appeared red when looking through her red paddle, Fredica’s white mouse appeared green and her orange water appeared gray when she looked at them through a green paddle.

Soon children commented about the way everything in the classroom changed when viewed through the color paddles. One of the girls remarked, Even my friends’ colors are different. Her shirt looks blue and her pants look brown!  I encouraged them to combine paddles for yet another way to observe their environment.  Blue and red together make it look like night time. Dark purple. said one child. Some of the children were hesitant to put the paddles down.

Next, we fashioned yet another way for them to look at our classroom: through yellow cellophane goggles! (This guy looks like a super-hero.)

Another activity extension involved the children using our new transparent blocks for building. They quickly made the connection between these blocks and the color paddles and homemade goggles. I see everything red, and then yellow, said Jazlyn as she tried out different ways of looking through her building.

The video we watched this week was called “Mixing Paint,”  one of the PEEP live-action videos.  In the short clip, children paint a map. My students enjoyed watching their process.

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