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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