This project was not just about place. We also learned about the properties of the paint we were using for the project. Science is everywhere. Asking questions and experimenting with materials are so important in beginning the conversation.
Here is what we found out -- During the paint mixing stage (creating secondary colors from our primary colors using tempera paint) we found out that the blue paint and the red paint overpower the yellow for making green and orange. Only small amounts of red and blue were needed to make orange and green. When the red and blue were added together to make purple, the shade these created did not read as purple. It was too deep, almost a brown-black hue. The children knew that white had to be added to bring it up to a shade they all agreed read purple.
Then, when these colors were applied to the dark paper, it was the primary colors that did not read true. The blue, yellow, and red needed second coats of paint. Once these were applied and we took our second look, the children noticed that the black tempera used to sketch in their designs was overwhelmed by the layers of color. Many (not all) of the young artists decided to paint the black lines back in. And with this final layer, the paintings were finished.
One of the questions we get every year during open house is about how we "get all the children to paint." This pursuit, these BIG paintings, show how we get all the children to paint. They are interested in learning about process and about exploring materials. Everyone comes to the table. It is that simple.