In a world where technology is always front and center, it can be hard to go back to the simple things in life. No matter the age, I have always enjoyed coloring.
As I grew older, I didn’t do it as much but if a niece or friend’s child was coloring, I would grab a book and some crayons and color right beside them. I always enjoyed it. In my older years, I think it made me reflect on how calming it was.
As a middle school teacher, I didn’t think my students would feel the same way. I have opened their eyes to many different apps and programs to infuse technology where appropriate but I felt they would roll their eyes at the thought of coloring. However, I started to see new lessons and activity ideas that used coloring so I did some research.
Here are 5 reasons why coloring is beneficial to students of any age:
- There are numerous benefits to social, emotional well-being. Boredom, stress, and unstructured environments can be triggers to cause anxiety. Taking the time to focus on an activity and complete it while coloring will help to alleviate these triggers.
- Coloring is a technique that should be used in all grade levels because there is research that shows that it helps us to retain information on a deeper level. Coloring activates both sides of the brain’s hemisphere to help us remember, concentrate, solving problems, and using our fine motor skills to fill in each section.
- Unplugging can tap into different forms of creativity. While technology most definitely has its purpose in and out of the classroom, it doesn’t have to be the end-all, be-all in our teaching. Coloring can bring back nostalgic feelings for students, much like it does for us as adults, therefore, student engagement will be higher.
- Promote that positive mindset. Everyone wants to change the way we think. Stop those negative thoughts and emotions and step up into a more positive, growth mindset. Coloring can help you do just that. Studies show that as we color, our thoughts change from negative to positive. So, if you are trying out the growth mindset with your students, try sprinkling in some coloring, when applicable.
- ANYONE can do it. This is probably my favorite reason. I am not an artist but I do like painting and creating. My students aren’t always into taking the same risks. But, when given crayons, markers, or colored pencils, they can and will. It will seem so much easier to choose a color to use (especially if it is an activity where there is a color key) and complete the activity over having to draw it out. Students know they can color so they will and they will reap all of the above benefits. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
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After doing some of my own research, I tested it out with my own students. I couldn’t believe how much they enjoyed it. I didn’t have to repeat directions 12 times, they actually started to complete it on their own, immediately! The quiet chatter among the groups, sharing of the colors, helping one another out, were all things I didn’t anticipate happening but made my heart swell with joy. While technology will continue to have a purpose in my classroom, so will coloring.
Need some resources to help you get started? I love this Crayola Back to School pack. This Amazon affiliate link includes a bunch of different items to get you started.
Are you the type of teacher who loves incorporating art into your classroom? Aside from coloring, here are some ideas to incorporate visual note-taking and sketch note strategies into your classroom.
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