Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Literacy Extension: "The Color Kittens" by Margaret Wise Brown

Ty has been quite into many of the Classic Golden the last few months, and when I browsed Amazon for additional stories to add to his collection, "The Color Kittens" by Margaret Wise Brown looked like a sure winner. Kittens, paint and color mixing?! Yes, that would suit Tyler very well! Grandma and Grandpa were wonderful in purchasing it for him for Christmas from his Wish List, along with several Classics. If you don't already own this one, you can't beat the $3.99 price on this book, and any other Golden Book Classic out there!

The story is about two kittens named "Brush" and "Hush" who love to paint and mix colors. One day they decide that they want to paint with green, but they don't have any green, so they have to figure out how to make green by mixing their colors together. They make several colors before figuring out how to make green, showing the child, with lyrical verse and lovely illustrations, that colors can come together to make others. It's truly a delight and now one of my favorite books by Margaret Wise Brown.

Our literacy extension was easy as well as really fun for a kid who adores paint and mixing colors! We simply grabbed our box of paint and supplies, the book, and transformed ourselves into pouncy little Color Kittens!

The first color the color kittens make is pink..."Pink as a rose or a baby's nose...". We looked in the book and found the colors needed, then Ty got right to the fun part: mixing!

The second color the kittens make in an attempt to create green was orange..."Orange as an orange tree, bumblebees, orange as a bumblebee..." Ty washed his hands, found the next two colors we needed, and happily got to it!

Hmmm...still no green! Ty washed up once again and we tried red and blue, as the Color Kitten did. No green silly kittens...purple! Purple "as violets, purple as prunes, purple as shadows on late afternoons". 

Will the color kittens get it right this time? Grabbing yellow and blue, just like in the book...

Yellow and blue make green! Green as "green leaves on a tree, green as islands in the sea"!  Yay, we did it!  Tyler actually knows this next one not only from the book, but from doing color mixing with a dropper a while back as well.  

Tyler also remembers that not only does he like to color mix on paper, but his hands as well.

Now, in the book, the color kittens get so excited about making green that they knock over several buckets of paint: Blue, red, yellow and black. Uh oh! What happens? 

Well, you get something that's supposed to be brown, but not quite. We added more and more of colors we thought would help, but it didn't quite turn out to be the "brown as a tugboat, brown as an old goat" we were looking for. I think we will experiment and do this color over again soon.

Ty smartly remembered that the last time he painted he mixed colors and made a lovely brown though, and he saw that it was still on his paint shirt. If only we could repeat exactly what he did that day!

I later hung each color he made, with the colors it took to make each above the painting, and the name of the color he created written below.

You could easily buy a pre-made poster that shows what colors make what, or you could create a little display with colored construction paper, but what is on this wall was learned with hands on experience. It's much more likely to be remembered and understood than by simply memorizing facts (and way more fun)!

Ty did remember! Nearly every time he walks down our hallway, where this display is hung, he excitedly stops to point at and name the colors above and talk about what they made. I randomly asked him later, "What do blue and red make when they're mixed together?" and he proudly answered "Purple!"

. Reading "The Color Kittens" will never be the same now that he's acted it out...in a wonderful way! Of course if you don't have the book, doing color mixing with paint is still a fun and easy activity!

1 comment:

  1. that is such a good way of displaying art work and showing the colours that come from mixing paints. Great idea.