Sky Colour

By: Peter H Reynolds

Marisol loves to paint. She was excited to help make a mural for the school library. But hold on – how can Marisol make a sky without blue paint?

View the trailer of the book:

Engage your readers and build their understandings by:

  • Draw three events from the story and retell to a partner.
  • Make connections from text to text. Compare this text to Ish written by Peter H Reynolds.
  • Read the story to the readers without showing the pictures. They visualise and draw the images described in the text. 
  • Marisol painted posters to share the ideas she believed in. Read factual texts to research your poster for a cause.
  • Select a page from the story to practise fluent reading.  I suggest:
    • At school, Marisol was famous for her creative clothes, her box of sort materials and her belief that everybody was an artist.
  • Role play the last page of the book. The students are looking at the mural. What could they be saying to each other?
  • Discuss: What is the important idea in this story? What is your evidence?
  • View and describe the famous art work by Van Gogh Starry Night.

Explore the vocabulary by:

  • Use paint chips to explore the vocabulary to describe shades of colour.
  • The character Marisol has 3 syllables in her name. How many syllables are in your name? How many words on our word wall that have three syllables?
  • Collect the nouns, verbs, and adjectives from the story. Record them in a three-column table.

Inspire your writers with these learning experiences:

  • Write a description of the mural.
  • Complete a daily sky journal. The writers record their daily observations.
  • Marisol created a poster for a cause. The writers create their own posters.
  • Explore an art work and write a description.
  • Use photos of colour in nature as a prompt to generate and collect writing ideas.
  • Explore colourful fonts when you publish.

Pose questions for you mathematicians to investigate:

  • ‘What shapes appear in the sky?’
  • ‘What time does day turn into night?
  • What patterns appear in the book?’
  • Select several pages of the book and ask ‘What time of the day is it? How do you know?’
  • There are jars of paint in the story. Investigate the capacity of different jars. ‘How much does the jar hold? How do you know?’
  • Horizon is a word that features in the book. ‘What is the related math term?’

Investigate, design, and create

  • Create clouds in a cup by setting white marshmallows in blue jelly.
  • Paint an image of the sky with:
    • cotton balls
    • sponges
    • cotton buds
    • nature brushes
    • rollers
  • Recreate the mural as a collaborative art project. Each learner creates a fish. The learners work together to paint the sky without blue paint.
  • View the sky and investigate the shapes, objects, and images you can see in the clouds.
  • Host a weeklong series of lessons focusing on the ‘Colour of the Day’.
  • Photocopy a page from the text and add colour using water colour pencils.
  • Learn more about Peter and his books at his website


Have an awesome day!