Friday, February 1, 2013

Art Beat: Color Your World

A Color of His Own A Color of His Own  by Leo Lionni, tells the simple tale of a lonely chameleon who searches for his own color. In the story, he sees that an elephant is gray, a pig is pink, and a parrot is green. Since every other animal has their own color, why shouldn't he?  He hops on a green leaf in hoping to be forever green.  To his surprise, he turned yellow and red in autumn, then brown and black in the winter until he fell off the leaf. When spring came, he stepped onto the green grass where he met another chameleon.  At this point, the two became friends, always changing colors together.

In a way we are all chameleons, searching for our own color, or identity. This crazy fast paced world makes it so easy to follow trends, losing sight of our authentic selves. Just like the chameleons, we need to find souls who share our dreams and creativity, and views of the world.

I felt great joy reading this story to my children. Their eyes shone bright, identifying the animals and colors on the page.  We discussed the chameleon's environment, and the why his color changed with each season.  We also discussed the importance of finding a friend.

We created our own backdrop sponging on green tempera paint. As you can tell, we used a piece of paper that Vivi already marked with crayons.  I wanted her to make marks without any prompt or direction from me.  I also felt, her marks looked like long grasses where the chameleons could hide. Next, I precut chameleons where Vivi  stamped paint dots in yellow and green. Then, we made the eyes with hole reinforcement stickers and colored the eyes black.  Last, we glued our chameleons onto their environment.

Enrichment Ideas

Older children can explore a chameleon's natural environment.  Ask children to pick their favorite environment, what color would they be? Would they fit it? Would they be lonely? Would they have a friend?

Make backgrounds and chameleons that represent all four seasons.  Pick colors that represent each season. 

Write an adventure story about the chameleon and his friend. 

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