A Color of His Own, by Leo Lionni

Every animal has his own special color/s except the chameleon. He changes colors wherever he goes. This is the story of a chameleon that wanted to have a special color like all the other animals. It was not until he met another chameleon did he learn how special he really was.


  • Seek and find letter C
  • Several sponges cut into small pieces.
  • Chameleons for hiding


  • Chameleon (a kind of lizard that can change his color)
  • Heather (a kind of flowery bush)
  • Camouflage (to be able to hide or change color into the environment)

Before Reading the Story

Tell the children that you are going to play a same and different game today. Have two children (a boy and a girl) come up to the front of the group. Ask the other children to name ways that the two children are different. (He’s a boy, she has darker hair, he’s wearing pants and she’s wearing shorts). After the children have exhausted how the two children are different, ask them to tell you ways they are the same. (They both have arms and hands, they both are smiling, they are both tall).

Scientific Knowledge and skills; observes and discusses common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects.

Ahead of time, make a simple graph labeled, “Our Favorite Colors” and a name card for each child to stick on. Explain to the children that we are all alike in some ways but each of us is also special and different. Not all people like the same things. Pull out your Favorite Color Graph and hand out the name tags.  Ask the children to come up and put their name beside their favorite color. When everyone has done so, talk about the colors and how some people like one color better than another.

Literacy Knowledge and skills; recognizes print in everyday life, such as numbers, letters, one’s name, words, and familiar logos and signs. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Reading the Story

Pause on each page so the children can name the colors.

After Reading the Story

After reading the story ask the children why the chameleon was unhappy at the beginning of the story? (He did not have his own special color). What happened to make the chameleon know he was perfect just the way he was? (The other chameleon said that that was the nature of chameleons). How did the story end? (Happily ever after) If you were a chameleon, what color/s would you like to be?

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding  sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for others. AND Literacy/Book  Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction, and poetry.


Put out red, yellow, and blue stamp pads or paint in shallow dishes. Tell  the children that when you mix two colors of paint together you get a new color. Give each child a sheet of white paper. Ask them to dip their left hand in one color and their right hand in another color. Have them print their left hand on the left side of the paper and their right on the right. Ask them what color they think it will make when they mix the two colors together.  Then have them make a left hand print and put the right hand on top and mix. What new color did you make? On the bottom of the paper write color left + color right =_____. Have the child repeat the sentence back.  Have the children wash their hands before they try two other colors together and see what new color you can make.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement

Explain to the children that chameleons move slowly.   Put on some slow music and have the children move slowly about the room while looking for an object that is a color on their shirt. Find the object and slowly bring it back to the carpet. Name the color. Put the music back on and the children can slowly go and put the object away.

Creative Arts/Movement;shows growth in moving in time to different patterns of beat and rhythm in music.


If you have colored blocks or cubes, feature these in your center today.  As the children clean-up their structure, encourage them to clean by colors.  (Ryan you put all the red blocks away and Paula you can put the green blocks away).

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.


Explain to the children that the illustrator of the story made his pictures by doing sponge printing.   Put out small trays of red, blue, yellow, and white paint. Show the children how to sponge print by dipping the sponge lightly in the paint and then moving the sponge up and down, up and down on the paper.

Creative Arts /Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Library and Writing

Chameleons are very good at hiding because they blend/camouflage right in. Ask the children what letter chameleon starts with. Give children a Seek and Find page and ask them to take their favorite color and find all the C’s on the page.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; increases in ability to notice the beginning letter of familiar words.

Sand and Water

Put water in the table today.  Ask the children at the table what color food coloring they would like you to add.  After they name the color, find a corner of the table and add their color.  As you add the second color in a different corner, ask the children what they think is going to happen to the colors when they get mixed.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Dramatic Play

Add many colorful dress-ups today (scarves, hats, jewelry)

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussion.

Math and Manipulatives

As the children are using the manipulatives today, encourage them to make patterns using color and naming the colors in their patterns.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Outdoor Play

Make a number of chameleons in colors that are on your playground. Before the children go outside, hide these outside yet in plain view (put a yellow chameleon in a yellow bucket, a brown chameleon in the sand)). Tell the children that there are chameleons camouflaged about the playground today so while they are out they can be on the lookout for them. Bring out a pen and as the children find the chameleons and bring them to you, you can write their name on it. When you go back in the classroom, you can count who found the most.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; demonstrates  increasing capacity to maintain concentration over time on a task, question, set of directions or interactions, despite distractions and interruptions.


Go back to your Favorite Color Graph and dismiss the children to the next activity by the colors that they chose.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.


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About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.