Teaching Process Skills With Children’s Literature: The Science Book of Color


Introduction and Summary

 “Imagine a world without color.  It would be like living in an old movie.

Color makes our world a pleasure to look at.”

The Science Book of Color by Neil Ardley  with photography by Pete Gardner is a great children’s book for introducing the concept of color and science experiments.  This is a short book written in terms easy for kids to understand.  The photographs are intriguing and very relevant to each experiment.  You might not think that there can be too many things to experiment with color but there are for sure and this book proves it.  With experiments about making vegetable dye to simulating a sunset, this book is a great beginner scientist resource.   It contains many science experiments that are very reasonable for a classroom or home project and many of the experiments require minimal adult assistance.   Although most appropriate for upper elementary grades, this book can be used for lower grades as well with more adult assistance.  Another great thing about this book is that in the beginning, the author lists ways to, “be a safe scientist”, which includes rules and expectations for a good and safe experiment.

Curriculum Connections

This book would be a great resource to use for many grades and to have in a class library to inspire interest in experiments.  The Science Book of Color would be especially useful for use with instruction on helping kids to  understand the nature of science and scientific reasoning and logic. The book has page after page of interesting, simple and fun science experiments all having to do with color.  This book would be great to use when teaching how to follow through with an experiment and follow all the steps to get an end result.  It would also be good to use for having kids determine a set of questions they want the answers to and developing an experiment to find those answers. (VA SOLs, 6.1i, 4.1l, 1.1d and 1.1j)

Additional Resources

Here are some great web resources that might be helpful when teaching about process skills.

This one has links to many science experiments similar to the book.  These are great to do at home and are simple enough for younger children.

This site has a list of frequently asked questions about color and their answers. This site would be much better used with older students.  Again this site can be used at home or at school.

Here’s another great one for kids with cool science projects and interesting information about things like, “why is a school bus yellow?” etc. and other questions that young children ask about color.

General Information

Book:  The Science Book of Color

Author: Neil Ardley

Illustrator: (photographer), Pete Gardner

Publisher:  Gulliver Books, Harcourt Brace & Company

Publication Date: 1991

Grade Range: 2-5

ISBN: 0152005765

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