November 13, 2015
by Chris Herman

Lesson plan

Leaves Are Falling

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Students will be able to use their knowledge of colors to predict what colors will emerge when mixed together. Students will be able to analyze the outcomes of their predictions and provide reasons for why they think colors change.

(10 minutes)
  • Go around the circle and have students share their favorite colors and whether they notice any differences in the changing of the leaves.
  • Discuss other changes typical of this time of the year, such as weather, new classrooms, and classmates.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct your students to predict what will happen to paint when they combine red with yellow. Record this information on the whiteboard for future use.
  • Model how to mix the paint, and send students to their tables to mix these two colors together (squeeze a little dab of each color into a cup in advance).
  • Ask students to come back to the circle once they are finished mixing their colors, leaving all painting supplies at the table.
  • Discuss what they think happened and why the color change may have occurred. Potential questions include: What changed when you mixed the colors? What colors do you see now?
(15 minutes)
  • After group discussion, have students practice mixing the colors together while sitting in their seats at the table.
  • Once colors are mixed, allow them to color one leaf placed atop a piece of construction paper.
  • Give your students time for their leaves to dry, and have students use paper towels to remove any remaining paint from their brushes.
  • Instruct all students to wash their hands and clean their areas when finished to avoid messes.
(20 minutes)
  • Direct your students to repeat the same process with blue and yellow to create green paint.
  • Have students analyze their predictions after each color is created. For example, have them come up with their own reasons as to why they were right or wrong, and instruct them to determine why the colors changed.
  • Enrichment: Create a graph of students' responses of their favorite colors to compare numbers. Encourage your students to use greater than, less than, or equal to to compare their classmates' favorite colors.
  • Support: For students who need extra assistance, trace the leaves, and mix colors in advance. Give them a color chart to compare the mixed colors to an existing color.
(10 minutes)
  • Walk around the classroom, encouraging your students to explore different mixes.
  • As you walk by, informally assess them by asking them to name what colors are made through mixing.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students figure out what predictions were correct and incorrect. Pose an open-ended question: Is it alright if you are incorrect?
  • Assure them that it is still important to make a prediction because scientists aren't always right.
  • Ask your students to review what colors they made, and write the names of colors that they learned on the whiteboard.
  • Mark predictions with check marks and X’s to represent the outcomes of initial predictions.

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