This may sound like a bizarre question, but hear us out… what a lot of people don’t know is that colours have an emotive quality.
Ever wondered why seeing a crisp blue ocean or a lush green field can make you feel calm while a blazing red fire or bright yellow sun can make you feel happy or excited?
That’s what we call colour psychology. Every colour in existence can make you feel a certain kind of way without you even realising it.
From the moment our eyes begin to fully detect colour (around 5 months old), we subconsciously begin to form connections between colours and feelings.
So, when asking your students what colour they feel like today, what you’re actually doing is making use of colour psychology to decipher their mood.
Is George feeling orange? He might be energised and excited about something. Is Hannah feeling blue? She may just be feeling calm or she may actually feel a little low today – meaning you should probably give her an extra little boost or compliment.
Asking kids what colour they feel like can give us incredible insight into what’s going on inside, without us having to talk about real feelings (which is something most children won’t always feel comfortable doing).
By using this simple and unassuming technique, we can keep tabs on our students and check that they’re ok without having to overstep their boundaries.
Step 1: Divide a page in two and write ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ above each column
Step 2: When asking your students what colour they feel like today, write down their names according to whether they’re feeling warm (red, orange, yellow) or cool (blue, green, purple)
Step 3: Continue with the class as normal
Step 4: Observe how the students operate during the lesson. Are the warm-coloured students more excitable and enthusiastic? Are the cool-coloured students more mellow and introspective?
Step 5: Jot down your observations and share them with us!
In the draw-and-paint-along below, artist and teacher Lili uses a colour wheel to show us how warm and cool colours are made. She talks about how different colours make us feel, and shows us how to use warm and cool colours to create a super fun "night & day" artwork.
With your 5-step experiment in mind, why not reteach this lesson and get your students talking about how warm and cool colours make them feel?
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