The 5 Color Rule

Quality, not quantity.

Raise your hand if you have ever had a kiddo rush through a coloring project. It seems like it's getting worse and worse every year, doesn't it? Especially now with Common Core, we hardly do any cutesy art projects anymore. So when I give you the chance to color... BUNNIES, SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY!! Instead they scribble on the paper a few times and announce, "I'm done!" Ummm... no you're not. OK, hands down now.

Enter The 5 Color Rule. 

The 5 Color Rule states that students must use at least five colors in all their drawings. The purpose is not so that drawings are pretty and colorful (although they do end up this way). I want my students to take their time and produce quality work. Nothing is more disheartening to me when a student sloppily scribbles on something that I intended to be a keepsake for another student or themselves. An added benefit is students understanding the term "at least." I can usually take a quick glance at a drawing to see if the kiddo has used at least 5 colors. Now I see more pride when students show me their work before turning it in. I love it too when they point out and count the colors. Sometimes a kiddo will come up to me and say, "Look! I used NINE colors!" YAY YOU!! :)

My poster is super simple to make. I took one sheet of every color card stock I could find (thanks, teammie Megan!), die cut circles and randomly glued them on. This poster hangs on my front board. While I still have a few who race to be the first one finished, The 5 Color Rule is definitely helping my students slow down and take more care when coloring something.


  1. Um, this is GENIUS! I will be making this 5 color rule poster for my class. We are working on All About Me posters this week when they are done with their work. I was so surprised at number of kiddo's who wrote with one marker and colored everything with that SAME color and tried to tell me they were done in 10 minutes.
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  2. I love this idea! A lot of my kindergarteners get infatuated with one color--- and everything is always that same color. This will help them mix it up a bit. I can't wait to make a polka-dot poster just like the one you shared!
    Primary Pointe


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