Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Wonderful World of Colors

Tina Thaggard


The object of this lesson is to teach children to recognize 9 basic colors (red, orange, green, blue, yellow, purple, white, black, and brown) Learning this skill will help children make connections to real life objects.


The student identifies and sorts common words from within basic categories (for example, colors, shapes, foods).


--The book - -THE COLOR BOX- by Ann Dodds
--A monkey puppet-
--A large, visual poster of the 9 colors
--9 laminated COLOR CARDS
--A -MONKEY BOX- filled with objects of each of the 9 colors
--A flashlight
-- Dress-ups for your -RAINBOW COWBOY- or girl
--The Greg and Steve song called -Rainbow of Colors-
--A quiet and a louder piece of classical music


1. You need to have the book -THE COLOR BOX- and a monkey puppet (dressed,if possible).
2. Also, make 9 small construction paper hats that will fit your monkey's head.
3. Besides this, make a VISUAL POSTER of the 9 colors and create 9 laminated COLOR CARDS (9x12 - at least) with the English name written at the top and the Spanish name at the bottom.
4. Next prepare a MONKEY BOX. Decorate a medium sized box with different colors and shapes of CONSTRUCTION PAPER. Inside place objects of each of the 9 colors (Put in about 3 items for each of the 9 colors.)
5. You will also need to pack a flashlight and -dress-ups- for the -RAINBOW COWBOY or girl.
6. Finally, you will need the song by Greg and Steve called -Rainbow of Colors.-(From their CD titled -We All Live Together.- Volume 5. Youngheart Music, Inc. 1994) You'll also need one piece of EXCITING, celebrative type music and another quieter selection.(classical choices are good here.)


1. Begin by introducing your monkey puppet --his/her name and some personal things about
him. For example, -This is Alexander. He collects buttons of all colors, etc.-

2. Say to the class, -Let's wonder! What does it mean to WONDER?- (Ask the children for some of their ideas; listen and comment.) -Now children -- let's wonder together. Close your eyes. Alexander and I will do the same thing. Let's imagine what the world would look like if it was only one color. (Remain silent for about 15 seconds).

3. When everyone opens their eyes, encourage the students to begin to share. For instance - -What did your world look like, Chris?- After the sharing, use one example and say something like, -What if everything was pink? You woke up and had pink cereal with pink milk in a pink bowl. You brushed your teeth with a pink toothbrush, etc.-

4. Now, instruct everyone to -Close your eyes again, but this time, -Let's imagine a world of colors.- For a second the room is quiet, but then you turn on a CD like John Tesh's -Red Rocks.- As the music begins, you quickly hang up a large, visual poster of ALL THE COLORS.

5. Now tell the children to open their eyes. You are almost DANCING around the room with your Alexander monkey, looking at all the different colors! You point them out everywhere --including what the children are wearing.

6. After this, say to the children, -Alexander and I could DANCE all day, but he wants to show you the game we've brought along!- The -RAINBOW COWBOY OR GIRL- that you dressed in the beginning is asked to come up to help with something important. Have him/her sit in a chair next to the laminated color cards (that you sat along the dry-erase board for display before the lesson began).

7. It's time to explain the game: -The Rainbow cowboy is going to hold up a card and the first thing we'll do is call out the name of the color. Let's try it!-

8. Ask the cowboy to choose one person to come visit the -Monkey Box.- Show this helper how he/she can take the flashlight to peek inside of the box and find something that matches the card we just saw. At the same time the 2nd helper will be looking on the table next to the monkey box at the line of 9 hats and choosing a matching one to put on Alexander. When these two helpers have completed their jobs, they can sit down in front while we take a look at what they've found. -Thumbs up if Jason found a green item from the box that matches our color card.-...-What about the new hat that Alexander is wearing? Does it match the color card?- Again we will respond with thumbs up or down. These helpers will sit down with the items they are borrowing during the game. (Side note: Make sure you've explained at the beginning that the hats are part of ALEXANDER'S COLLECTION and need to be taken care of!)

9. After the game (and only try a few colors with the group- explaining that we will spend more time with it during 'centers').. it's time to involve the whole group in the music by Greg and Steve. By now, some people are holding something. Have your cowboy quickly pass out the rest of the color cards to the students. You begin to hand out instruments so that everyone has something. Explain that everytime we hear one of the colors in the song, we need to hold these high and shake them in the air for all to see!. (Begin the tape.)

10. Afterwards it's time to transition into a quieter mood. Turn some soft, nature music on as you and the -Rainbow Cowboy- collect all of the props. Suggest to the children that they are now relaxing in a green meadow, getting ready to hear Alexander's favorite book.

11. Choose a helper to hold Alexander as you read THE COLOR BOX book by Ann Dodds. (Before you begin - ask the children for some predictions...-Guess who we're going to see inside of the pages?..It's ~ Alexander!-) Read and enjoy. Then get ready for Centers!


This activity will be assessed in centers as you observe the children carrying out the various -extension activities.- Are students able to match an object from the box with a specific -color card,- for instance? This assessment will be an -ongoing one- throughout several weeks or longer depending on the child's ability to grasp this color concept. You will continue to observe them during whole and small group -color activities.- You will know that individuals have mastered the skill of differentiating colors when they can identify specific colors and call it by its name. Again, as you observe children holding up an object that matches the color you are calling out and displaying this confidently, you will assess the fact that mastery has taken place. You will also want to document each child's progress on a checklist that you keep. Your mastery chart will contain each of the 9 colors. You will check off each one that the child can identify. You may even design a section of your bulletin board with certificates complimenting those that know their colors! This is a positive way to celebrate mastery!


Here are some starter ideas for some possible centers that you can design: 1) the -monkey box center- that will revisit the match game idea that you did during whole group. 2) The graham cracker center which will involve using the 9 colors of icing - talking, designing, and eating the tasty, colorful treats. 3) The -color poster- center where children will work on posters surrounding the 9 colors. If you have 3 centers that day then each group that visits this center will help design 3 poster colors using construction paper and crayons of that color. All of the posters will start out white - but one group will find parnters inside of their group. Each partner group will choose a color poster that they want to design. If they choose green, for example, they will use green markers, green crayons, and green construction paper, glue, and scissors to make their design. (A different color for each partner team.) Afterwards these 9 beautiful posters can be displayed around the room with the color name labels as well!
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