Begin with each child sitting before a piece of white paper. Then give each a chance to choose their favourite colour of tissue paper. Each child may have only one colour. You may want to tear them into small pieces so each student has a “pile”. The task is to make a beautiful picture with their colour.
If they have not already noticed, they can be urged to reflect on the boring nature of “only one colour” and then present them with the “problem.” “What are we going to do? How will we solve this problem?” Invariably they will stop and think, and one or two will light up and suggest, “We could share!!!”
The lesson then emerges from the students themselves. I ask them, could we share? How do we do that? We have come up with four ways:
- asking for another student to share his or her colour;
- giving some of our own abundance away;
- trading (I often have to teach this skill);
- and simply putting everyone’s colours in the middle and each taking what s/he needs.
The children really love this exercise, and they create beautiful pictures. We use glue sticks and present the same “problem”… 3 sticks for every five or six students.