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My Blue is Happy

My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young is a delightful book about colors for children young and old. It explores the concepts that colors have feelings attached to them and those feelings can vary from person to person. This is a great little lesson which will get children thinking, writing, and reading about color and what it means to them.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. On a chalkboard, flip chart paper or SmartBoard, make 2 columns (a positive and a negative) and ask a student to choose a color to head up the discussion. Have students brainstorm as a class what things the color reminds them of and determine what column it should go into. Remind students that different people feel differently about things and an item that may fall into the positive column may be in the negative for others (i.e.: blue cheese, fire trucks, alligators). Do this for 2-3 colors. Alternatively, split the class into small groups and give each a different color.
    2. Read My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young; discuss as a group what happened in the story and how it relates to the exercise just completed (the main character feels differently about colors than the people in her life, each color discussed in the book as a positive/negative).
    3. Create a list of opposites that can be used for their own work from the book and their own ideas (sad/happy, calm/nervous, plain/special, young/old, scary/funny, etc.)
    4. Each student must choose a color and write rough copy 2 sentences on lined paper about this color from their point of view and a friend or family member’s point of view using the opposites and brainstorm examples or original ideas. Sentences can be teacher or peer evaluated for spelling and ideas.
    5. Provide each student with a 12 x 18 sheet of white drawing paper. Have students fold paper in half widthwise to create a crease. Have students re-copy their sentences, one on each side of the crease, and illustrate the same sentence using crayons and markers on the opposite side of the crease.
  • Standards

    LA: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud.

    LA: Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Describe how different materials techniques and processes cause different responses.

    VA: Use visual structures and functions of art to convey ideas.

    VA: explore and understand prospective content for works of art.

  • Adaptations

    Create a class book where students work in teams to cover the colors and each student is mentioned in the book.

    Limit the children’s’ choices to food only (healthy/unhealthy) with a tie-in to nutrition month in March, making healthy choices.

    Make an emphasis on the monochromatic aspect of the illustrations in Jessica Young’s book. Research artists that work monochromatically (i.e. Picasso’s blue or rose periods) and create monochromatic paintings.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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