Friday, February 26, 2016

Color Discovery, #STEAM

I was GREATLY inspired by Cassie Stephens post of Science Experiments in the Art Room that I had to do it in my classroom too.  This last week we worked on 'discovering' what colors the primary colors can make with 4 different experiments. This was REALLY engaging for the 1st graders.  I plan to do a version of Mrs. Stephens project next week as we reflect on the experiments that were done this week in art class.  Her lesson/project is shown below... 

This is a quick video of the learning happening in my 1st-grade classes. I've noticed that the right answer on a worksheet and the right answer in a science experiment, creates a different reaction in children... Take a look and see what I mean.

So here's how the day played out.  I set up science kits for each table.  Each kit had for sections and the materials for the four experiments I had planned for the students. I have some flipped videos, here is this play list of the instructions that the classes got in between each experiment.

I love using flipped lessons, it really helped for this lesson because I could buzz to the back of the room to make sure I had everything set up for the next activity.  I have to do on the spot 'set up' because of the lack of time in between classes.  Flipped lesson help me with this tremendously! 

Between watching the video and starting the experiment, I asked the students to PREDICT what was going to happen in the experiment. Another management tip for this lesson is to appoint a lead scientist. This person is identified with safety goggles.  I was shooting for groups of 4 so each person would have the opportunity to be the lead.

The first experiment was 'THE COLOR CREEPER'.  I did this one first because this one takes some time to work.  They were able to look throughout the hour to see how it had changed.  When completed with each activity, the students would come back to the carpet to hear about the next experiment, they would also switch the safety goggles. 

The next experiment was by far the most exciting!! Let me shown you... 

I learned how to make these awesome baking soda stones from Science Spark.  These were a little bit of preparation, but well worth it!  Did you see the excitement of these kids!!  To be honest, it was hard to keep them calm on this science experiment... but isn't that what we want... to blow our kids minds?


Then the coffee filter color blend.  This was actually harder than I thought at this time of the year.  I hardly have any juicy markers left.  The students had fun with the spray bottles for sure! 

I loved to look at the scrap paper that the students used after they left class.  How beautiful is learning! 

Finally, about two weeks ago I asked parents of 1st-graders to see if anyone could donate homemade playdough.  I have the recipe that I found years ago (sorry I don't have the resource) that I share in my email.  They sign up on a google doc.  I had just enough parents offer that I didn't have to make any myself this year. 

After teaching this lesson once, I found that this demonstration was needed to help students understand how to prepare this experiment.  I explained that they should have 3 new colors when finished (not one big icky color). Because the materials were donated, students were able to take the playdough home with them.  This was VERY exciting for most first grade students.

So, there it is... Day one of Color Discovery.  Can't wait to share about day two :) 


  1. You look a little devious in your "flipped" picture! :) ha ha Great stuff.

  2. Nic - I am so inspired! I love how you sequenced all of these through the lens of inquiry. Thank you so much for sharing!