- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
- classroom tub of mixed crayons (If crayons are not available, you can also use markers.)
- 2 or 3 empty tubs (Label at least one tub "cool" and at least one "warm.")
- chart paper
Set Up and PrepareKeep in mind that blue, green, and purple are cool colors, while red, yellow, and orange are warm colors.
This activity can be performed with the whole class depending on the number of crayons, and the number of students.
I've seen art supplies sorted by warm and cool colors in a number of museums, and it appears to be very effective. I like to store shared materials in tubs to encourage student cooperation and sharing. If I have three table groupings, I make sure I have three tubs of markers, three tubs of pencils, three tubs of scissors, etc.
On the chart paper write the words "warm" and "cool." Talk with students about how cool colors appear to recede and warm colors seem to advance. Tape a purple crayon under the word "cool." Using red, yellow, orange, blue, and green crayons, continue to sort and tape the crayons in the appropriate columns.
Explain to students that they will be sorting the crayons into the appropriate warm and cool containers. When they are done sorting, keep crayons in their new tubs.
Have students create collages using 1 inch squares of warm and cool colored paper.