The Colorful Zoo

This is a simple update to a YICA worksheet. In YICA, the 2nd graders finish their color unit with a coloring book based activity. They’re supposed to line up, swap colored pencils, and fill out a sheet of animal illustrations. I took the spirit of that activity and applied it to a different worksheet with much simpler rules. 

The idea here is just to ask your friends what their favorite color is, and then pick a random animal on the worksheet to color in that color.

What color do you like?

I like blue!

Ok! Blue… Blue elephant! *colors in the elephant blue*

Finish coloring in all of the animals and you’re done. You’re a champ. I stamp a gold star on your worksheet and participation card and you get another worksheet to start the whole process over again.

It sounds almost boring, right? But this is designed for the 2nd grade. When I do the demo, I always pick a truly absurd animal to color in. This kid in the front row likes pink? Well, pink giraffe it is! They’re at an age where this is like the height of comedy and the moment they realize they can defy convention, they’re itching to go. I also color outside the lines and they love the idea of that sort of “danger”. Hey, coloring outside the lines is like super serious in 2nd grade.

About half the kids miss the lady bug (tentomushi) and butterfly on the page and I have to point that out and they have to go back and quick get another kid to tell them a color and finish up. I devote the entire class to this. It’s the last lesson in the unit on favorite colors so nothing is new. I run through colors real quick. I tell them to get out their colored pencils. I have them chant with me as I ask a few random kids their favorite colors. I comically color them horribly on my own worksheet. I pull out a completed worksheet and pretend I just finished right then oh wow I’m so amazing. I tell them it’s their chance and let’s go! Stand up! Let’s color.

Most kids get through about 1.5 pages in the class period. One kid got through 5. I don’t think that kid has ever colored in the lines in his life.

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