Following Colorful Clues

Welcome to The Rogue Rodent Mystery: A Crime Scene Investigation!

Rogue Rodent Mystery is based on the premise that a crime occurred in Ms. Hawkins’ science classroom at Cavia Elementary. Unfortunately, their beloved guinea pig, Alice has gone missing. Now, it’s solely up to the students to solve the crime, and bring Alice back safely!

This tailor-made, 10-lesson course sets up scenarios that invite elementary students to solve problems creatively, think critically, work cooperatively in teams, and use evidence, models, tools, and scientific techniques effectively.

For example, in lesson 8, Following Colorful Clues: Making Orange Paint, students will figure out which suspect was most likely to have left behind orange paint smudges by mixing together different primary colors of paint. Students will be asked to follow a specific procedure, as they indulge themselves in this colorful, hands-on lesson. They will need to measure volume accurately using the standard unit of milliliters. They will later record their process and findings by dabbing each color of paint onto color-mixing equations in their student books!

You may be asking, why learn about the different colors and what importance does it play in our daily lives?

Well, without a doubt, color is inevitably a wonderful and enriching part of our world! For instance, just open a box of crayons, admire a stained glass window, look through a kaleidoscope, or even take some time to cherish an open field of wildflowers. All in all, the colors of the world are indeed plentiful, and there’s a lot to be learned through the various shades that surround us!

One of the most fascinating things about colors is how they mix together. In fact, all colors originate from three primary colors. The primary colors in the additive mixing of pigments are red, yellow, and blue. Two primary colors mixed together create secondary colors: purple, green, and orange. Adding a tint (white) or a shade (black) can make more variations of each color.

To learn more about primary colors, click here and head over to Britannica!

You can also head over to Art in Context’s website to read their Basic Color Theory, and after that, you can even use their free Online Color Wheel! With these helpful links, you’ll easily be able to get the most out of this lesson and impress your students!

You can even share this video with your students to have them learn some fun facts about the different colors!

To dive even deeper into this lesson, you can follow along with these additional activities and resources below.

  1. Use the different colors created during the activity to paint a picture. While you are painting ask students to recall what the three original colors of paint were. How many colors do we have now? How many new colors show up as the paint mix in your art? Click here to watch Simple Art Tip’s helpful YouTube video on Color Theory Basics.
  2. Make rainbow fruit smoothies! Choose two different colored fruit or vegetable ingredients (red=strawberries, spinach/kale=green, blueberries=blue, etc.). Add these to a blender with a little bit of plain yogurt and ice. Before blending, have students guess what color the smoothie will be. Blend, notice the new color, and enjoy!
  3. Make or buy play dough in red, yellow, and blue. Have students mix together small bits at a time. How many colors of play dough can you create? Build something beautiful with your new rainbow of dough!

Interested in bringing this mystery to life? You can now read through the complete course overview by visiting our website and clicking The Rogue Rodent Mystery course kit. This will also give you a detailed description of each and every lesson.

If you found these links helpful, keep a lookout for more discussions and resources to come in the near future!

We’d love to hear your feedback or any questions that you might have. You can email us at any time by sending a message to

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