Crayon towers

Laboratory eight has a special focus on observation, accurate drawings, and the science of kindergarten: cloud shapes. The laboratory is also the first piece of a set of laboratories and demonstrations focusing on color and spectra. As such, I start where so many children start. With a box of crayons. I have long maintained that many colors, such as mauve, burnt sienna, raw umber, and turquoise, are defined in the minds of English speakers by Crayola crayons. 
Serlyn Manuel coloring a cloud in the sky

The languages of Micronesia usually have color words for red, yellow, green, blue (or green/blue switching words), purple, pink, brown, black, and white. Orange is often an imported word. I often ask the class, "How many colors are there in English?" I then use a box of 96 crayons to show that there are more colors than they realize. When I saw a tower with 150 unique colors, I knew I needed those towers for class.


Three students stayed back of their own accord in the 11:00 class to produce sheets listing many of the colors. This was new to me but may have been prompted by an off-hand comment of mine alluding to a quiz on esoteric colors such as jazzberry jam.



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