Colors and Trouble

K, 1, 2

This book, Land of Many Colors, was written by a preschool teacher and children. It is a parable of finding our shared common ground and celebration of our differences.

PrintOne Thirty-Minute Session
  • identify and compare examples of respectful and unkind behaviors

The Land of Many Colors (see handouts)

  • Permission to use this out-of-print paperback picture book for Lesson Five: Colors and Trouble kindly granted by the publisher, Scholastic, Inc. The title was originally published under the following:
    Klamath County YMCA Family Preschool. The Land of Many Colors. Scholastic, Inc., 1993.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Hold up at least three identical objects except for color (blocks or toy balls could be used). Ask the children to tell the shared purpose of the toys. Ask them the names of the colors and to indicate their favorite choice. Point out that while they may have a preference, each toy and color has its qualities and isn't better or worse than another.

  2. Show the color printout of the book The Land of Many Colors by the Klamath County YMCA Family Preschool. Activate prior knowledge by asking children to describe what they see.

    Read the book to the class. Stop midway to ask how the colors are acting selfishly. Ask what the problem is. What can happen when they all think they are the best and avoid others who are different?

    Discuss: What are examples of people treating others without respect for their own special qualities? 

  3. How was the problem in the story solved?

    Identify examples of behavior that shows respect for different people and various talents and ways of being. Discuss some of the diverse talents in the room. Our differences make us strong together, and our similarities give us common ground to work from.

    • Why do you think the different groups listened to the dust-covered child and were willing to accept what he said? Make positive connections to real life.
  4. Bonus: Make a talent chain. On 8.5" long strips, students write some of the things they are good at or like to do. Maybe they can think of things they do that help others. Examples: I can paint pictures. I'm good at welcoming people. I like to be outside. I know how to braid. I smile to show I am friendly. Attach the strips by stapling the strips into interlocking loops.

    Discuss how together the many talents and skills make our group stronger. We can use these talents to make everyone happier and better. 

Cross Curriculum 

Divide the children into three groups. Give each group a small packet of M&Ms pre-sorted by color. Have the students put their candy into one large bowl and each take the piece that they want.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.