Rainbows are a natural for kindergarten. Here's a resource to help you to differentiate a rainbow lesson:
In the days before our rainbow lesson, we read fiction and non-fiction books about rainbows. We play a Rainbow Colors Song from YouTube.com about Mr. Rainbow, and we free-dance to it around the room.
For a full lesson, we review some rainbow facts, such as: to make a rainbow you need light and something to bend the light (like a droplet of rain or a prism). Then you'll see the full rainbow spectrum.
We compare real and fiction rainbows using a T-chart. The real rainbow has 7 colors, red is always on top of the curve, it's pale, and it's in a natural setting.
The fiction rainbow has anywhere from 3 - 8 colors or more (sometimes out order), it's dark colored, and it's in a fairy land like Oz, with leprechauns running on top, and pots of gold below.
Kids will write facts and opinions about rainbows. The advanced kids draw a rainbow free-style and label it like a diagram, or they draw it in a natural setting like an art piece. I give them a choice.
ESL and RTI kids need a little more language support, as well as step-by-step direction. We gather around my laptop, where I've opened up this page on the rainbow colors. We read it chorally using picture clues and the first letter sound of each color:
Then each child gets a matching one-page level A, emergent reader with the same text--but with cute leprechaun pictures. We read together as they point to each word. Then they color each shamrock to match the text. They can reference my laptop image for support.
Some of them will be able to write a sentence at the bottom, such as: I love a rainbow!
Afterward, they can color the cute little leprechaun any way they like. The shamrocks are perfect for a March lesson. At any other time of the year, I might use the umbrella version:
While kids are writing, I let them pass around my geometrical glass prism and hold it up to the light, so they can see a real rainbow. This will give them more to write about.
After writing, we share what we learned, noticed and wrote down.
The lesson offers plenty of differentiation, multiple entry points, and choice based on students' needs--all to achieve the same learning target: I can tell about rainbows.
At centers later in the day, my advanced kids often beg to color the shamrock sheet. It's just so darn adorable! Some of them cut out the squares and staple it like a mini flip-book.
If you'd like this entire Rainbow Lesson Kit, with all the pages you see here, take a look.