Several years ago I decided that I wanted the entire school to create a project that would hang in an area they could all see it complete. I had seen online, a collaborative assignment where a class created a rainbow by coloring 4×6 cards with their portraits on it, using one color for each card. I decided to go large scale and have every person within the school, including support staff, the teachers, the students, and anyone I could find to fill the space.

It was a great success. I was able to go over drawing portraits with every class and allowing them to learn facial proportions, including some of the staff who were not as confident in drawing. To help ensure lots of color, I also had the students fill the cards with their interests, their hobbies, and things that they enjoy with the color. I went through the classes for that year and decided which class/grade used which color. I started with the DK and K classes and gave them pink, then moved up through the senior class by giving them purple. I didn’t specifically assign the staff a color, I just let them choose their own and I filled them in wherever I could. It worked out well.


Once I collected all of the drawings from each of the students I had to go through the colors and lay them out in a fashion that would seamlessly transition through the rainbow and fill the grid that I planned out. To complete the project I taped all of the pictures on a large roll of paper. Once I had figured out where they all fit in and transitioned the colors as smoothly as possible, I ran the entire thing into the lamination machine to ensure they stayed together. It was a long process and I had only one unfortunate case where when the paper was going through the machine one of the pictures folded and was laminated that way.


The rainbow hung in the school cafeteria for several years, parts of it would fall from time to time and I would have to re-hang  it until it had run its course. To keep the hard work of the students and staff alive, once I removed the entire rainbow from its hanging place, I cut out each of the images that were created and compiled them into a binder that is accessible to everyone.

IMG_20100930_181440It is so fun to have students go through the binder and reminisce about the project. Students of all ages have looked through to see their drawings as well as their friends and siblings. It is a great community to challenge creatively!

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