The Colors of the Rainbow

Kids love rain­bows! And kids in grades K-1 tend to be almost obsessed with them. And why not?? After all, rain­bows are fas­ci­nat­ing! A rain­bow is a mul­ti­col­ored arch that forms in the sky when the sun shines onto droplets of mois­ture in the air. Rain­bows span a con­tin­u­ous spec­trum of col­ors in a spe­cific order; red, orange, yel­low, green, blue, indigo and vio­let. “Roy G. Biv” and “Richard Of York Gave Bat­tle In Vain” are mnemon­ics for remem­ber­ing these col­ors that we adults may have learned as children.

The last time I taught my 1st graders about rain­bows, I decided to come up with a more mean­ing­ful mnemonic to help them remember the col­ors and their order. As I strug­gled to come up with an improve­ment over the tra­di­tional “Roy G. Biv” that I was taught (Hmmm.…“Really Old, Yucky, Gross…no, the boys might like it but the par­ents may not appre­ci­ate it!”), I put the chal­lenge out to my stu­dents and par­ent vol­un­teers in my classes. Karen Porter, the mother of two of my stu­dents, came up with a great solu­tion that the kids could eas­ily remem­ber:
“Rain­bows Offer You God’s Beauty In View.”

Why not have a con­test like this your­self and see what your stu­dents and their fam­i­lies can come up with? Rain­bows are one of those sub­jects that usu­ally works best when treated some­what real­is­ti­cally, so mem­o­riz­ing the colors and their order is a good way to go.

Here’s a fun Noah’s Ark paint­ing by one of my 1st grade stu­dents, using his new knowl­edge of the col­ors of the rain­bow! (He used just 5 col­ors in his rain­bow, but they’re in the right order, so it still works!)

Art by Mythony
(painted with water­color, then out­lined with Sharpie after drying)

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3 Responses to The Colors of the Rainbow

  1. Anonymous September 11, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Hi Cheryl, Another really great entry. I like the idea of a con­test. Love, Roy

  2. Anonymous September 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    A boy in our first grade class asked me the cor­rect col­ors in the rain­bow. I just guessed. Now I know for sure and can remem­ber it. Like Karen’s way! Thanks Teach!!!! jb

  3. erica September 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    i love mythony’s paint­ing! adorable!! great post.

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