My Crayons Talk by Patricia Hubbard is a perfect introduction into the interplay between color and language. The girl in the story explains how her colors talk as she draws. For example, “Yellow chirps, ‘Quick, Baby chick.’” The accompanying picture shows the girl sitting in a straw-colored meadow, surrounded by baby chicks, while wearing a sunny sun dress and funky sunglasses.
As you read the story, point out that the colors don’t actually talk in a way the girl can hear, but that the colors remind her of things. They make her feel a certain way. After the story, or after each color, talk with the children about what the colors remind them of.
After the story, I like to use this My Favorite Color poem page to do a whole language activity. It gives each child the chance to think about her favorite color in terms of each of the five senses. As she completes each thought, her words are written down, creating a connection between the written and spoken word. You can enhance this language and literacy activity by slowly sounding out the words, or asking questions like, “What letter does ‘blue’ start with?”, or simply thinking out loud as you write (“Purple. P..p..p.. that sounds like a “p” to me!” “I like writing “T”! Straight down and straight across!”). Don’t make it overly laborious, but enhance the experience as it feels appropriate. (For more tips for encouraging beginning writers, read here.) Afterward, the children draw pictures right on top of their words, or on the back of the paper, whichever they prefer. It’s a preschool masterpiece combining visual and language arts along with the five senses!
This activity builds sensory awareness, creativity, and language and literacy skills. It is also just an enjoyable experience to hear the children’s answers! Some are poetic, others silly, and some are very matter-of-fact, but they are each unique to the individual child who composed them!