Yellow + Green = Blue

A few days ago, we learned about algae. The lesson plan (from Mother Goose Time) wanted the students to explore mixing paint. That sounded messy, so I decided to have the students use only blue and yellow paint. They had a lot of fun discovering that when they mix yellow and blue together, it makes green! Their algae “Invitation to Create” turned out looking like real ponds. (We combined the “Invitations to Create” from the Bog Plants lesson plan and Algae lesson plan).

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I thought this lesson was over. But, then the next morning I had a student start asking questions about other colors and what happens when you mix other colors together. I told her we could explore mixing more colors together during play time. She exclaimed, “I can’t wait to mix yellow and green together to make blue!”

Instead of me telling her that yellow and green do not make blue, I thought she could discover it for herself.

I wasn’t planning on extending this lesson, but I  also didn’t think someone would be interested in it. She had a question: What happens when you mix colors together?

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I had her pick 2 colors. Then, we made a prediction about what color these 2 colors might make when mixed together. She was not always right. She thought since blue and yellow made green that mixing green and yellow together would certainly make blue. (Not a bad thought process).

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There is so much that I feel this student learned today because she asked a question and I planned a quick mini lesson to help her discover the answer to that question.

Teacher: “So, What does green and yellow make when mixed together?”

Student: “It makes a lighter green… That’s not blue!”

This same student has been having issues with fine motor skills. So using the paint brush to mix the paint and then brushing it on the paper was excellent practice for developing those muscles to prepare her for writing.

Children learn better if they are interested in the topic. Having students ask questions and take ownership in their learning will be more effective in the long run. They will have greater comprehension and they will enjoy learning new things.


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