Rainbows and Rainbow Ice: A learning provocation in our Nursery School classroom.

Rainbow Ice

A popular topic of conversation has been rainbows within our Enhanced classroom.  Today to start off class I had placed on the table; ice cube trays, bowls of water, eye droppers and food coloring.  When one child saw the materials he asked “Miss Alissa, what is all of this stuff for?”  I replied that today we were going to make rainbow ice, and that they would be able to mix their own colors.  Quickly the children sat down at the tables and began using the eye droppers to put water in their ice cube trays.  Once they had placed the water in their ice cube trays, they were able to mix colors of food coloring and stir them with Q-Tips to see the color they had created.  Here is some of the conversation I recorded of the children making their rainbow ice.

“Wait, how do you make orange again?!”

“Red first, then a little yellow…remember red first!”

“What happens to water to make it into ice?” –Miss Alissa

“It melts”

“That’s true, ice melts into water, so what is the opposite of melting?” –Miss Alissa

“Not melting! Um freezing!”

“Snow falls onto lakes and they freeze.”

“Yeah snow falls onto water and it gets a little ice.”

“Do you know how I made this black? I add a little green to the red.”

“This is hard work!”

“Now I need some blue.”

“Here you go!”

“What is a hunting color?”

“Dark green.”

“I’m going to mix blue and yellow to get green.”

“Hey look at this dark red! This is the color I made!”

“Where can we put our rainbow ice trays to make them freeze?” –Miss Alissa

“By the window or outside.”

“The fridge.”

“In the snow.  If we put some snow on top of it, it will freeze after a few days.”

 Painting with Rainbow Ice

 Today was a beautiful day to experiment with the Rainbow Ice that we created on Tuesday.  After snack time I took the children to pick up their rainbow ice out of the freezer.  We then headed outside with two white poster boards and got the ice out of the ice trays and began to rub the ice on the paper.  The children observed that although their ice may have been darker in color, the color that shows up on the paper was lighter in some instances.  Once child exclaimed “like watercolor!”  After a while their hands got cold and one child started placing his Rainbow Ice in a line on the sidewalk.  He called them “footprints” and wanted to see what happened as they melted.    We headed inside to wash our hands and allow our ice to melt.  A half an hour later we headed back out.  We found that the rainbow ice had melted and created amazing pictures as the colored water melted and spread.  One child said “look at the footprints turned into a colored river!”


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