Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kindergarten Fireworks

With Memorial Day and then the 4th of July coming up, kindergarteners started thinking about fireworks today. The fact that it was 90+ degrees here at the beach today helped us think about summer!!

I projected images of various fireworks paintings that I found in a Google search on the Smartboard for students to compare and discuss. We particularly focused on the direction of the lines. Then, using Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint, we reviewed what colors can be mixed using primary colors. And then the fun began:

First, using washable Crayola markers, students colored half of a lid in one color and the other half in another color.
Then they brushed plain water on the area of the board they were planning to print and twisted the lid as the firmly pressed it onto the board. It was important to use plenty of water on this very warm day!!
 I asked kids to predict what their "mixed" color would be. They were delighted to see how the marker turned to paint and ran every which way on their board!!
When everyone had printed 3, 4 or 5 circles, I demonstrated how to dip a piece of board into black tempera and print the "rays" around their fireworks.

 Some lines would "bump into" other lines -- that was great. Some lines would "go off" the page -- also great. It was fun watching kids plan the placement of their lines.
This is one of those lessons that is "just right" developmentally for kindergarteners to play around with. We heard a LOT of "Oh, look, I made orange!!" and "It's purple -- look at how it is running into the water!!" and "It's just like exploding fireworks!! -- When will I get this back??" The paintings came to life with the addition of the black!
When they are dry I'll post some of the results.

We didn't have time to extend this lesson today, but adding a building or 2 to the composition would be fun -- maybe talking about artist James Rizzi.
This building is painted foam core with cut construction paper windows.


  1. Totally adorable! I see possibilities... Pinning!

  2. Thanks, Phyl. I actually love having kids print lines with scrap board on just about anything. And you are right, the possibilities are pretty endless!!