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I Like the Color

School: Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Public Charter School

City/State: Waimea, HI

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Format(s): Bilingual, Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts, World Language

Project Overview

This children’s book was created by students, grades 4-12, in an afterschool program at the Kanu o ka ‘Aina Charter School in Hawaii as a way to introduce younger students to colors as part of an extensive and ongoing effort to create culturally relevant bilingual curriculum materials for Hawaiian students.

The creation of curriculum materials is part of a larger effort to reintroduce Hawaiian students to native culture and language – helping them to reclaim traditional language before it is lost. As part of a larger movement in Hawaii, the Kamehameha Charter Schools are one of the leaders in this effort. A foundation connected with the charter schools, called the Kalo Foundation, arranges for the professional publication of these books and products. For more information visit

Few curriculum products are bilingual by design, and very few are created by students for students. This book, and others like it created by the school’s high school students, represent a powerful, useful project idea for schools anywhere: older students creating bilingual curriculum for younger students.

This book combines original student artwork, with text about culturally-relevant items that are each particular color. The name of the color is given in English and Hawaiian. The school hosted a visiting artist from Oahu who taught the students the painted collage technique featured in this and other books produced by Kanu o ka Aina for Hawaiian cultural immersion schools.

This book and others like it are available for purchase by the school and the foundation.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights the use of an after-school program to create bilingual, culturally-relevant curriculum materials for younger students
  • A great example of service learning
  • An example of a cross-age project, engaging students from multiple grade levels
  • The artwork is stunning, showing care for form, detail and color, throughout the entire book
  • Exemplifies simple, but evocative writing for a specific audience
  • An example of high quality production, which furthers the professional quality of this book
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