UpdateAdditional photos and information can be found on Rainbow Windsocks Revisited.
Want to make these for your own classroom? Well, look no farther. Here are complete directions! I don't know about you, but I like everything to be "just so" in my classroom so here's what you need to get it just right!
Make a Template
I wanted my rainbows to be uniform with a nice arch for my students to paint. To acheive this, I used an old beat-up folder as my template (note the lovely fading down the seam). I cut the folder in 1/2, drew half of the rainbow-making 6 areas for painting -think ROYGBV- then cut along each line, starting at the seam, and NOT QUITE REACHING THE EDGES (this will help it all stay connected!) I wanted to have a good path for tracing so I cut a very thin sliver out of each line-this way there was room for my pencil to trace.
Prep for StudentsYou know as well as I do that young children need to have VERY clear instructions. So I opened the template and traced it onto each sheet of white construction paper. The final step after tracing was to label each piece of the rainbow with an initial (R for red, O for orange, etc). By now my students can read color words but I didn't want to do any more writing than I absolutely had to!
Paint!My kids LOVE to paint and they can be very SLOW painters. We are always super-busy and I hate wasting too much valuable instruction time on projects, so instead of using my usual brushes, we used foam brushes. This was so much faster and the students didn't have to stop and "reload" their paintbrushes nearly as often. Highly recommend!
AssembleAfter the rainbows dried, I turned each painting over and glued 6 streamers in "rainbow order" along the bottom of each painting. Then I rolled the painting into a cylinder and stapled them closed along the side.
Hang with Fishing LineRemember how I said I like things "just so?" Well, I quickly noticed that when I prepared to hand my newly created student masterpieces, gravity was working against me and trying to squish the edges of the windsock together like this. I could tell that it wouldn't be long before these lost their nice round shape completely.
To solve the problem, I still made a big loop with the fishing line that went through 2 holes punched on either side, but I pulled up on the section that ran through the middle of they cylinder and let part of the fishing line wrap around then rest outside of the cylinder and it helped dramatically. (There's no clear way to describe this process-hopefully the pictures help a bit!)
My students loved walking into our classroom and seeing their beautiful rainbows in the sky. Such a great way to build enthusiasm for springtime AND St. Patrick's Day. I hope you enjoy the project as much as we do!