Teaching Physical Science with Children's Literature: Thinking about Colors

Jessica Jenkins' book Thinking about Colors is an excellent book teaching young readers about basic colors and on what objects they can find them.  The illustrations are very rare and look similar to those of someone grades 2 or 3. However, there are a few pages that are used to transition between colors that are much more sophisticated than those that are used to discuss the individual colors.

This book by Jessica Jenkins takes the reader through the new paint set that Simon received.  "Look, everybody! I've got a new paint box. Come with me and I'll show you the colors€¦ (2)."  He takes the reader through each color, giving different example of objects for each color.  Each color gives somewhere between four and six examples.  The examples are of where the reader my see that particular color.  "Green is for returning empty bottles (so they can be recycled) (12)."  Some of the language being used appears to be a little too advanced for the average first grade or kindergarten student.  However, a lot of the language in this book can inform a young reader of certain objects in the world.  "But red is also the color of the Red Cross, a group that helps rescue people all over the world in emergencies (4)."  Thinking about Colors also shows the different shades that there are of each color.  The two pages discussing the color blue show shades ranging from: cornflower blue to royal blue to arctic blue and indigo blue.  The different shades at the top of each section help the reader expand their knowledge of each color.  The book ends with all of Simon's friends saying what their favorite color is and explaining it to the group.  As everyone is speaking, Denise brings their attention to what Simon is doing.  Simon is painting a picture with his new paint box and it says "The End (38)."

Curriculum Connections
This book can help students' expand their awareness of different colors in their every day lives.  This book relates directly to SOL K.4a (understand that the position, motion, and physical properties of an object can be described) because of the different variations that it gives for each color and the different examples that it uses to give the reader a visual.

Additional Activities

Book: Thinking about Colors
Author: Jessica Jenkins
Publisher: Dutton Children Books
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 32 pages
Grades: K-3rd
ISBN: 0525449086