Monday, 29 July 2013

The science of colour (BJS " Birthday in Color" project)

So now I am going to reveal the inspiration behind what is going to make these jars so special...

Whilst at the Boulder Journey School they shared their "journey" with the birthday canvas/ birthday paints - and it really was just a fantastic way to bring a group together... to help them feel community and collaboration and to feel how all individuals participate in a group - creating an inclusive group... it also sets up a beautiful birthday tradition.

As you can see they have displayed two canvases - one for all the children in the class/group and one for all the parents. When a child has their birthday they get to create their own colour... they start off with saying what their basic colour is... green, blue etc etc... and then they can start talking about what sort of shade it is and how to create that shade...

Once the birthday child has their colour the group paints the whole canvas with the paint specially created... and left over paint is put in a jar and labelled.

When the canvas is dry masking tape is put across the canvas and there is the wait until the next birthday and the new choice of colour to be painted...
and once dry more masking tape...
this will continue throughout the year until all the children have had their birthdays (the same is done for the parents) and then they will have a masking tape removal celebration where they will peel away all the masking tape revealing all of the children's colours...



I bet that celebration is going to be quite exciting working out where your own colour is after being hidden under many layers of friends' shades of paint...

And here is the row of paint designed by the children...

Of course it doesn't have to be birthdays... I have been thinking about how to make this work at the preschool where I work, and so many of our children have their birthdays during the summer break that it would not make this activity viable - so I am thinking why not do it anyway... as a method to learn about the science of colour (if we are going to recreate their colour maybe we need to think about measuring the amounts of each colour added to create the shade... maybe there ought to be sessions before hand where the children can just experiment with creating colours - so that whole need to mix as many colours as possible is satisfied before thinking about it as a science... also maybe they should be given the opportunity to try and recreate colours themselves - give them an apple and see if they can recreate the apple colour etc etc... and see how difficult it is, and how the use of mathematics can make recreating easier and faster...)

And then there is the naming of the shade... will the children call them light blue, dark blue, or ill they get named sky blue, sea blue... does it make a difference? How much do you want to influence this?
I guess it depends on what question you ask
"What kind of blue is this?"
"What are you going to call your blue?"
"what does your blue remind you of?"
All three could produce VERY different answers from the same child...
(I have had children call their colours "Emma" because I asked "what are you going to call your blue?" Or "What name are you going to give your colour?"
Its a rather humbling thing to think how much power of influence we have - just by making a simple decision as to which question do we pose!!

Its also a fantastic way to document all the children's birthday over the year - imagine the birthday book you could create along with it for the children to take home at the end of the year...

Anyway - the "Birthdays in Colour" project from Boulder has inspired me to delve further into the science of colour... and with the creation of our new larger atelier I am getting very excited about putting that space into action...

I will no doubt return to this topic as I start to encounter it with the children... and will mix my own reflections with those I have collected from Boulder... as one of the sessions we listened to was about just this project...

so if I have whet your interest here... keep tuned in for the next post on this...

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