Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kindergarten Rainbow Cities

As we wrap up the school year, I have two staple art projects I always like to do with my kindergartners, and this is one of them.  Of course, by this point, our grades have to be in by tomorrow (Monday the 10th!), even though we still have two weeks left of school for elementary students!  Luckily, the younger students don't really realize this and they're still pumped for art projects.  The older students?  Not so much.  As it is, between assemblies and end of the year field trips, older students only have 1-2 art classes left in the next two weeks so we usually finish up and artwork that wasn't finished through the year and watch a movie.  (This year I showed them Around the World in 80 Days because VanGogh is in it!)

Anyways, this rainbow cities project is one I found referenced in a kids art book and I've altered it a bit for my kids.  This project generally takes about 3 days, depending on the students and how it's presented.
This was my example from last year, which did not incorporate both blue and indigo together.  I decided to tackle that extra color this year so we made sure to talk about how my example was technically missing blue.

On the first day, we talked about the rainbow.  This is a great project for me to do at the end of the year because the first unit I do with 1st grade is rainbows (see our Meet Roy G. Biv!, rainbow bracelets, and Rainbow Kandinsky projects from the beginning of this year!) so it's a nice foreshadowing for the kids for next year!  One particular class of kinders did learn about the rainbow this year, but they were missing that elusive indigo color.  We talk about Roy and I play them Greg Percy's "My Name is Roy" song.  Before class starts, I cut construction paper into 3rds for all the colors of the rainbow.  Each student gets one of each color and they have to cut the rectangle into an interesting building.  Each building must be different.  The last step on the first day is to draw the windows, doors, signs, etc. on the buildings.  The first year I made the students use a black Sharpie for this part, but this year I let them use whatever they wanted (crayons or colored markers).  You can check out last year's Rainbow City Collages on Artsonia.

On the second day, we review patterns.  (This was a great incorporation to the project since we just did the pattern cows.  It was a way for some students to redeem themselves with patterns since a particular group didn't do so well listening to directions!)  Students get a large piece of white drawing paper and we draw a frame around the edge.  They then have to draw a pattern all the way around in black marker and then color it.  Again, this year I left their medium choice up to them (marker or crayon) for the coloring part.  Last year we did just crayons.

On the final day, students have to arrange their buildings in the order of the rainbow inside the frame and glue them.  This is a great way to discuss overlapping since most of their buildings don't fit side-by-side within the frame. It's always interesting to see which students "freak out" because they can't fit their buildings and they don't want to overlap them!  Last step?  Draw some appropriate things in the sky like clouds, airplanes, birds, etc.  Again, this year I left them go wild with it and they could use whatever colors they wanted but last year, they had to color coordinate what was in the sky above each building with the color of that building.

The rest of the kinder rainbow cities can be seen on Artsonia.  I should have the rest of them posted by Monday afternoon on of the other classes did a really nice job getting creative with their buildings!


  1. So cute!!! My favorite is the one with the blue birds in the sky! :)

    1. I'm going to try and add more photos tomorrow, but my favorite one isn't posted yet. One of the students made a really cute clock tower for one of his buildings!