The Rainbow Project


An investigation unfolds

One day, we were learning together at the table, a rainbow streamed through the window and projected itself onto the wall of our home learning space. This sparked much excitement for the girls. They had all kinds of theories about how the rainbow appeared (I knew it was because of the glass vase that sat in front of the window, but I didn't disclose that just yet!)

I decided to take advantage of their excitement and interest in this unintended provocation, and thought would be the perfect way to launch into an investigation about rainbows!

Prior Knowledge

I asked them what they already knew about rainbows, what they wondered about rainbows and they shared their theories about how rainbows form. Digging into prior knowledge is an important first step toward any new learning. Prior knowledge is like the "hook" on Velcro: any new learning needs something to cling to in order to develop new understanding.

Curriculum Mapping

Later, I began mapping out some of my "teacher-thinking" as I thought of all the possibilities for learning across the curriculum under the umbrella of rainbows. I brainstormed ways we could fold in science, literacy, math, social studies - even health into this study.

I thought of all the learning connections that could be made around colour, using children's hundred languages.

✔ math: sorting, classification, patterns⁠
✔ health: rainbow foods, fruit salad
✔ language arts: rainbow poetry writing⁠, fruit salad recipe writing 
✔ science: characteristics of objects and materials⁠, light, color theory/color mixing
✔ problem-solving, collaboration⁠, STEM learning

I created various Joysheets™ to consolidate learning in these areas (here are a few samples you can use. Just click to download).

Culminating Project

We explored colour for almost an entire month, and our investigation culminated as we created a beautiful rainbow mobile together to hang in our home learning space

If you enjoyed this style of teaching, and are looking for more art-infused projects to tie in learning across the curriculum - making learning FUN, JOYFUL and BEAUTIFUL... Join our curriculum waitlist for Artful Teaching. Joyful Learning.®


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