In this lesson plan, children discover what happens when colored water mixes and a new color is formed! Children begin by watching a video in which George gets into trouble with some pots of colored water—he falls into a pot while getting a lesson in dyeing eggs! Next, children look at photos of raindrops and dewdrops and make observations. Then, they get hands on with water drops to explore what happens when they use a straw and an eyedropper to move the water drops around. Finally, they use food coloring to explore color mixing, just like George! As children go through the activities, they will be using the following science skills: asking questions; testing and retesting; and identifying and describing sensory observations.
- Understand that water drops may stick to each other and to other objects.
- Understand that the natural shape of a water drop is round, but the shape may change depending on the size of the drop or on the forces acting on the drop.
- Understand that one or more colors can be combined to make a new color.
Prep for Teachers
Tips for Success
Background photos help children make connections between the activity they are doing in the activity and phenomena in the natural world.
For Both the Dry Table and the Wet Table
- Background Photos: pictures of dewdrops, raindrops, etc.
- Plastic trays or baking sheets with rims—1 for each child
- Wax paper, to place on the trays
- Plastic eyedroppers (inexpensive, child-friendly sets can be ordered online or purchased at local school supply stores)
- Small containers of water
- Food coloring, for tinting the water
- Drinking straws (cut in half)
- Container for pouring off excess water
- Paper towels for clean up
- Optional: Curious George magnifying lenses
1. George Mixes Colors
Tell children that they will begin by watching Curious George learn about mixing colors when he gets a lesson in dyeing eggs. Show the Curious George: Water Drops video. Ask the following questions:
- What happened when Steve first dipped an egg into yellow dye and then into blue dye?
- What happened with George dipped the banana into blue dye and then into red dye?
- George fell into the yellow dye. What might happen if “yellow George” jumps into the blue dye? What might happen if “yellow George” jumps into the red dye? Are there any other color combinations he can make?
2. Looking at Water Drops
Show children the photos of raindrops and dewdrops. Ask them to describe what they notice. Have a discussion.
3. Playing with Water Drops
Give each child a piece of wax paper on a tray or baking sheet. Demonstrate how to fill an eyedropper then release the water, drop by drop. Let kids experiment. What happens when they hold the eyedropper high above the tray and squirt water on the wax paper? (Kids can use the magnifying lenses to look at the shapes of the water drops.)
Then, have children use the straw and eyedropper to move the water drops around. They can try tilting the tray as well. Ask questions to keep the explorations going:
- When you use the eyedropper to move a water drop around the wax paper, how does the shape of the water drop change?
- What happens when you make one drop touch another drop?
- Try blowing through a straw at a water drop or water puddle. What happens?
- How many different ways can you make a big drop break into smaller drops?
4. Playing with Colors
On a clean sheet of wax paper, let children explore color mixing. Guide children to make simple color mixes, such as yellow and blue to make green, and yellow and red to make orange. Continue to ask questions to keep explorations going:
- What happened when you mixed yellow with blue? What color do you see?
- What do you think will happen if you mix the yellow water drop with a red water drop? Why?