Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Writing Table: The Color Dictionary

All of my students are familiar with the writing table. It's my favorite place in the classroom. It has so many great resources. It probably has too much stuff on it. I probably need a bigger writing table.

The writing table is where kids go to make their writing better, to find some cool writing supplies, and to sit if they need a time out . . . I don't have another place for them to sit.

So what's on the writing table that makes it my favorite place in the classroom? I'll show you!

This week, I'll tell you about the Color Dictionary. 

 To make your own Color Dictionary you'll need a box of 64 or more Crayola crayons, some blank paper, and a folder or something to store your dictionary. I don't buy crayons other than Crayola so I'm not sure if you can use other brands. It's all about the color names that Crayola uses.
On separate sheets of paper, write or print out basic colors--red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and brown.

Pour out all of your crayons and separate them into piles based on color. As you can see, I put my crayons in cups.

Take one of the piles and the matching sheet of paper. For example, the paper that reads "orange" and all of the shades of orange crayons.
Color a sample of the crayon color on the page. Next to the sample, write the color that is written on the side of the crayon. I typed the colors out because I'm a perfectionist.
 Continue repeating this with each shade of the color you are working on. Do the same with each color.
 Finally put the Color Dictionary together in a folder or binder.
 I have done this activity with my entire class and gave each group a color to work on together. It worked out fine.

So how does this Color Dictionary work?

When student's are in the revising stage of writing, they go to the writing table to make their writing better. One way they do this is by adding color detail. If a student is describing his brown dog, he goes to the Color Dictionary and turns to the Brown page, looks through all of the shades of brown then decides which shade of brown his dog matches. 

So instead of writing My brown dog is the best!, he would write My brown chestnut brown dog is the best!

Kids absolutely love using the Color Dictionary. It's probably one of the best ways to teach revising. I mean how many times have you asked your kids if there's anything they can add to make their writing better? With the Color Dictionary, you can remind them to add colors to make their writing better.

As you're reading your student's writing, you'll be so entertained. You'll actually want to read it! Did I just say that? Come on, you know their writing can get a little boring. With the Color Dictionary, kids will have more fun and it'll shine through!

If you liked this idea, check out this post.

I have made the color dictionary available:



  1. Love it! Such a creative way to get students to add detail to their writing. I'll definitely be trying this out. Thanks for sharing!

    The Cutesy Teacher


  2. Hi Bonnie! Your kiddos will love it! It's so much fun :)


  3. I love this idea of a color dictionary. I've never seen it before. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment.


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