Colors and Trouble

K, 1, 2

Introduces the idea of sharing in a situation where there is a scarcity of resources. Exposes students to the concept of tolerance of differences. Increases listening comprehension and the use of critical thinking skills.

PrintOne Thirty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • note details from the pictures.
  • identify and compare examples of tolerant and intolerant behavior based on the events of the book.
  • identify colors and match them with color words.
  • share candy given to groups.
  • The Land of Many Colors (see Bibliographic References).
  • Manipulatives
  • Color cards and color words
  • Candy to be shared
  • 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 name the colors and indicate their choice. Point out that while they may have a preference, each color has no relationship to its function.

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

    • Read the book to the class. Ask the students to identify colors and to name some of the objects on each page.
    • Have the children identify examples of intolerant behavior.
    • Select six volunteers. Ask them to close their eyes and hold out one hand and place the other behind their back. Place a colored circle of construction paper in the hand behind their back that matches the color of the M&M in their front hand. Their eyes still closed, ask them to eat their M&M and tell everyone what color they thought it was. Then ask them to open their eyes and show the construction paper color. Emphasize that outward appearance of this candy makes little difference to its taste. Help students make the connection between this experiment, the story, and the community. Repeat the activity if desired.
    • Ask students to identify examples of tolerant behavior.
    • Ask why the different groups listened to the dust-covered child and were willing to accept what he said. This is an open-ended question and may have more than one correct answer. Make positive connections to real life.

Students should be able to recall story details and explain why some behaviors in the story were inappropriate. Students should give reasons why it is better to practice tolerance in a community. Students should appropriately share candy. Note how well students identify colors and match them to the color word.

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.