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March 22, 2019

Rainbow Connections: Rainbow Science and Reading Confidence for Kindergarteners

By Brian Smith

Rainbow balloon facts and a color scavenger hunt create a vibrant lesson.

Grades PreK–K

    Key Takeaways

    • Teach kids the colors of the rainbow with a color-themed scavenger hunt. 
    • Use patterned text to help every child become a successful reader.
    • Teach rainbow facts with a colorful rainbow-balloon activity.

    Scholastic’s Let’s Find Out magazine features a wonderful issue called “When a Rainbow Shines.” It shows students how “Water + Sun = Rainbow!” With free classroom resources from that issue, you can find the gold at the end of your rainbow—confident and engaged learners. 

    Pre-Reading Activity: Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

    This activity will get kids excited to read about rainbows. It will also help them learn the names of the colors in the rainbow—as well as their order. Here’s how it works:

    • On chart paper, use markers to write the seven colors of the rainbow in the correct color order. (The name Roy G. Biv helps you keep them straight):
      • Red
      • Orange
      • Yellow
      • Green 
      • Blue
      • Indigo
      • Violet

    (Note: Use a lighter blue for blue and a darker blue for indigo.)

    • Point to the words blue and indigo. Ask students what they notice about these two colors. How are they the same? How are they different? Tell students that indigo means dark blue.
    • Divide the class into seven groups of kids. Assign each group a color.
    • Tell them it’s time for a scavenger hunt. Each group has five minutes. The red group will find red objects in the classroom, the orange group will find orange objects, etc. 
    • Ask kids to bring their objects back to the rug, where they can arrange the objects in lines. The colored lines should follow the order of colors in the rainbow. 
    • Ask kids to name the colors of the rainbow in the correct order with you. 
    • Then it’s time to quickly put the objects back, and get ready for a video!

    Use Let’s Find Out Resources to Learn About Rainbow Science

    Now it’s time to dive into some great resources. 

    Step 1: Watch the Video

    My kindergarteners loved the video that goes with this issue: “What Makes a Rainbow?” Like every video from Let’s Find Out, this one builds their excitement and background knowledge. 

    Step 2: Read the Issue Aloud

    Next, I passed out issues and read aloud from Let’s Find Out’s “When a Rainbow Shines.”

    As I read aloud, I asked the children to follow along by moving their fingers along the text. To connect what we read to what we watched, we talked about all the colors of the rainbow and how they blend together—the kids loved making that connection.

    Step 3: Kids Read the Issue

    At this point in the school year, most kindergarten classrooms have students reading at a wide range of levels. It isn’t difficult to find text to make your stronger readers feel successful. However, it can be tricky to find texts that help keep your struggling readers from turning into reluctant readers. You’re covered with this rainbow issue of Let’s Find Out. It provides patterned, repeated text that allows readers of varying levels to succeed. You can assign sentences to be read aloud by both readers and emergent readers. 

    Pop the Rainbow Balloons to Learn More!

    Kids will go crazy for this activity. It’s fun, colorful, and it deepens their knowledge of the science of rainbows.  With just a little prep work, you can make your learning rainbow last for seven colorful days. Start by writing down or printing out seven facts about rainbows (my facts are listed below). Make sure each fact is on a separate piece of paper. 

    Here’s how to make your learning rainbow:

    •  Take the seven strips of paper with the rainbow facts written on them and place each one in a different balloon. Ideally, your balloons would match the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. 
    •  Inflate the balloons.  
    •  Attach the balloons to a bulletin board or other surface on the wall of your classroom. Place them in the arced shape of a rainbow.
    •  Pop one balloon each day and read the fact that it holds. Once all the balloons are popped, you will still have a great display of rainbow facts for students to see.   
    •  For a fun twist, write each fact on a gold coin. After each balloon is popped, place the gold coin into a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! 

    Rainbow Facts

    Here are the facts I used:

    •  Every person looking at a rainbow sees it differently. That’s because they are seeing the raindrops and light from a different place depending on where they are standing. 
    • Earth is the only planet in our solar system where rainbows are possible.  
    • You only see rainbows in the shape of a semicircle—except if you are flying on an airplane, where can see a rainbow as a complete circle.  
    • A "double rainbow" can appear when a second arc that’s not as bright can be seen outside of the primary arc. 
    •  You can see rainbows in the rain, but also in the mist, spray, fog and dew. That’s because rainbows can appear wherever there are waterdrops in the air with light shining behind them. 
    •  Moonbows happen when light from the moon reflects through raindrops. Moonlight usually isn’t bright enough to make that happen, so we don’t see moonbows very often.  
    •  Have you ever noticed that you don’t see many rainbows in the winter in places where it’s cold? That’s because the raindrops become snowflakes when the temperature is below freezing.  

    You can bring colorful lessons like these into your classroom all year long with Let’s Find Out magazine. Every issue supports your seasonal themes, sparks curiosity and builds the reading skills your little learners need most. So get ready for the 2019–20 school year and try Let’s Find Out  free for 30 days!

     

    —Brian Smith teaches kindergarten at Wittenburg Elementary in Alexander County, North Carolina. He was named the district's 2017 Teacher of the Year. 

    Key Takeaways

    • Teach kids the colors of the rainbow with a color-themed scavenger hunt. 
    • Use patterned text to help every child become a successful reader.
    • Teach rainbow facts with a colorful rainbow-balloon activity.

    Scholastic’s Let’s Find Out magazine features a wonderful issue called “When a Rainbow Shines.” It shows students how “Water + Sun = Rainbow!” With free classroom resources from that issue, you can find the gold at the end of your rainbow—confident and engaged learners. 

    Pre-Reading Activity: Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

    This activity will get kids excited to read about rainbows. It will also help them learn the names of the colors in the rainbow—as well as their order. Here’s how it works:

    • On chart paper, use markers to write the seven colors of the rainbow in the correct color order. (The name Roy G. Biv helps you keep them straight):
      • Red
      • Orange
      • Yellow
      • Green 
      • Blue
      • Indigo
      • Violet

    (Note: Use a lighter blue for blue and a darker blue for indigo.)

    • Point to the words blue and indigo. Ask students what they notice about these two colors. How are they the same? How are they different? Tell students that indigo means dark blue.
    • Divide the class into seven groups of kids. Assign each group a color.
    • Tell them it’s time for a scavenger hunt. Each group has five minutes. The red group will find red objects in the classroom, the orange group will find orange objects, etc. 
    • Ask kids to bring their objects back to the rug, where they can arrange the objects in lines. The colored lines should follow the order of colors in the rainbow. 
    • Ask kids to name the colors of the rainbow in the correct order with you. 
    • Then it’s time to quickly put the objects back, and get ready for a video!

    Use Let’s Find Out Resources to Learn About Rainbow Science

    Now it’s time to dive into some great resources. 

    Step 1: Watch the Video

    My kindergarteners loved the video that goes with this issue: “What Makes a Rainbow?” Like every video from Let’s Find Out, this one builds their excitement and background knowledge. 

    Step 2: Read the Issue Aloud

    Next, I passed out issues and read aloud from Let’s Find Out’s “When a Rainbow Shines.”

    As I read aloud, I asked the children to follow along by moving their fingers along the text. To connect what we read to what we watched, we talked about all the colors of the rainbow and how they blend together—the kids loved making that connection.

    Step 3: Kids Read the Issue

    At this point in the school year, most kindergarten classrooms have students reading at a wide range of levels. It isn’t difficult to find text to make your stronger readers feel successful. However, it can be tricky to find texts that help keep your struggling readers from turning into reluctant readers. You’re covered with this rainbow issue of Let’s Find Out. It provides patterned, repeated text that allows readers of varying levels to succeed. You can assign sentences to be read aloud by both readers and emergent readers. 

    Pop the Rainbow Balloons to Learn More!

    Kids will go crazy for this activity. It’s fun, colorful, and it deepens their knowledge of the science of rainbows.  With just a little prep work, you can make your learning rainbow last for seven colorful days. Start by writing down or printing out seven facts about rainbows (my facts are listed below). Make sure each fact is on a separate piece of paper. 

    Here’s how to make your learning rainbow:

    •  Take the seven strips of paper with the rainbow facts written on them and place each one in a different balloon. Ideally, your balloons would match the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. 
    •  Inflate the balloons.  
    •  Attach the balloons to a bulletin board or other surface on the wall of your classroom. Place them in the arced shape of a rainbow.
    •  Pop one balloon each day and read the fact that it holds. Once all the balloons are popped, you will still have a great display of rainbow facts for students to see.   
    •  For a fun twist, write each fact on a gold coin. After each balloon is popped, place the gold coin into a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! 

    Rainbow Facts

    Here are the facts I used:

    •  Every person looking at a rainbow sees it differently. That’s because they are seeing the raindrops and light from a different place depending on where they are standing. 
    • Earth is the only planet in our solar system where rainbows are possible.  
    • You only see rainbows in the shape of a semicircle—except if you are flying on an airplane, where can see a rainbow as a complete circle.  
    • A "double rainbow" can appear when a second arc that’s not as bright can be seen outside of the primary arc. 
    •  You can see rainbows in the rain, but also in the mist, spray, fog and dew. That’s because rainbows can appear wherever there are waterdrops in the air with light shining behind them. 
    •  Moonbows happen when light from the moon reflects through raindrops. Moonlight usually isn’t bright enough to make that happen, so we don’t see moonbows very often.  
    •  Have you ever noticed that you don’t see many rainbows in the winter in places where it’s cold? That’s because the raindrops become snowflakes when the temperature is below freezing.  

    You can bring colorful lessons like these into your classroom all year long with Let’s Find Out magazine. Every issue supports your seasonal themes, sparks curiosity and builds the reading skills your little learners need most. So get ready for the 2019–20 school year and try Let’s Find Out  free for 30 days!

     

    —Brian Smith teaches kindergarten at Wittenburg Elementary in Alexander County, North Carolina. He was named the district's 2017 Teacher of the Year. 

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