Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Color Themed STEM in the Classroom

Do you spend time with colors in your classroom?  Does your entire class dress in a certain color on a certain day?  Do you read color themed books?  Do you practice reading and spelling color words?  Do you sing songs about colors?  Do you make colorful artwork?  If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then you may want to incorporate an exciting (according to my students) and easy color themed STEM activity into your color fun.

One of the most important parts (if not the most important part) of doing STEM activities in your classroom is gathering and organizing your materials.  For this color themed STEM activity you will need:  food coloring, various household liquids (I used water, vinegar, shaving cream, and oil), eye droppers, see through contains (I used Mason jars), and some small paper cups.
To go along with our activity we completed mini books to record our predictions, observations, and creations during the experiment.

Because of time restraints, we conducted part of the activity as a whole group, with yours truly doing the demonstrations.
To begin, students predicted what the water would look like after adding the colors and then I added them.  Next we did vinegar.  Nothing crazy happen with the water or the vinegar.

We added colors to the shaving cream.  It didn't mix.  The students really liked how it turned out.  It was pretty funny, a couple of my young learners thought the shaving cream would explode.  They were a little relieved.

The last observation was how color mixed with oil.  Oil really has the coolest reaction.  Because the food coloring is mixed with water, the colored water doesn't mix with the oil.  It created pretty little bubbles in the oil.

While I conducted the demonstration, the students asked lots of questions and we discussed why the colors looked the way they did after adding them to the liquid.  We also talked about mixing colors to create new colors, which was the segue to the final part of our color themed STEM project, creating your own color.

Each student got their own small cup and shared the eye droppers and colored water.  They mixed two or three colors until they reached their favorite new color.  After they created their color, they illustrated it and wrote about it in their mini books.

This activity worked out really well.  It was simple and engaging.  I will definitely use it again next year when we are focusing on color.  I'll probably make one change by adding some additional liquids into the mix.

As far as other activities during the week, we did quite a bit of work with color words during our literacy time.  Sorts, matches, writing, and centers...students need plenty of work reading and writing color words.
I'll leave you with a few of my favorite color themed read alouds.
(Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker, Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin, Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall, and Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds)
Wow! such variety about one topic.  That is why learning about colors can take your so many directions in your classroom.

What are some of your favorite color themed books and activities?  I'd love to know.
Have a great week.


  1. do you have the student books available for free? The ones in the pics?

  2. I would love a copy of your Investigating Color mini book! Do you sell it on TPT?

  3. I'm also interested in the color mini book. Is it on TPT? Thanks!

  4. Do you still have the student book available?