"Coloring to learn in high school? You've got to be kidding! Young adults don't want to color—that’s for little kids!"
Hold on; just hear me out! I want to introduce you to some wonderful coloring books, yes coloring books, that high school students can using as effective learning tools. No, they won't be using crayons for these coloring books, they will need colored pencils.
I said this when I wrote this review nine years ago. Now, coloring is popular for teens and adults. Coloring to learn has always been popular in our house.
For a deeper study into anatomy and physiology, be sure to add Human Anatomy Coloring Book by Margaret Matt & Joe Ziemian (Dover Press) to your high school student's Human Anatomy class.
These drawings are amazing! Students color in cells, organs, and systems. Everything from the circulatory system to the muscles of the face, head, and neck, from the urinary system to the mechanics of breathing and swallowing--this is not your kindergartner's coloring book! For visual and hands-on learning, the benefits of this book are innumerable. This is the supplement to add to your high school anatomy curriculum.
Years later, my oldest daughters still remember with self-pity the amount of time they had to spend on this coloring book, but boy do they remember the body systems that were meticulously colored. The arteries were colored red, while the veins were colored blue, according to directions. This cemented for them that the oxygen-rich blood traveled through the arteries to nourish the cells in the body, while the veins carried wastes away and blood desperately in need of more oxygen. All this and more from a coloring book!
Moving over to art history and art appreciation, Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Botticelli to Picasso (Dover Press) is a great coloring book to invest in. Complete with small postcard size reproductions in the back of the book, your teen can color these pages of famous paintings exactly like the original artist did. Believe me, your teenager will be scrutinizing these paintings.
Some of the famous works of art in this coloring book are The Peaceable Kingdom (Edward Hicks), Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci), Girl with a Pearl Earring (Jan Vermeer), and Luncheon of the Boating Party (Pierre-Auguste Renoir). There is a wide variety of artwork from different periods and styles. This is a wonderful and painful taste of art appreciation. Dover also publishes many other Color Your Own Art Masterpieces books such as Color Your Own Gauguin Paintings, Color Your Own Tiffany Windows, or Color Your Own Cezanne Paintings.
There are colored pencils you can buy that (once the picture is colored) you can add a little water to the page and it looks like watercolor. The coloring pages can actually look quite lovely this way.
My dream is to travel through Europe, seeing cathedrals and museums with our own eyes. My children have visited my favorite art museum, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C,. only once. Yes, I'd rather them enjoy the real masterpieces, but this has been our family's substitute plan. My older three girls remember paintings and authors because of this simple coloring book that, again, was very time consuming to color.
Let's stay on the subject of coloring, but move away from coloring books to history and geography class maps.
When your teens are filling in blank maps, have them color in the country, state, or area they are concentrating on. The act of coloring in a specific area with a specific shape is a great way to cement that place in your teen's memory. Not only are the maps more pleasant to look at when they are colored many different hues, but the maps are easier to read. Locating various places on a carefully colored map is much simpler too!
Have your high school student choose the best color for each country when they are filling out a world map. They might choose green for Germany because of the lush green mountains and forests. Or they may simply choose green for Germany because both words start with the same letter. Either way the shape and location of Germany will be etched in their memory bank.
Coloring is a secret weapon for memorization. It is a slow, relaxing task, but the physical act of coloring combined with the necessary visual activity is a great combination method of learning. Teens can do their coloring while they watch a movie or listen to their favorite music without negative effect. This is truly painless learning at its best!
Happy Coloring with your teens!