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By Sarah Grant — teaches in Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Conducting a colour survey of street furniture

You will need

Adult helpers; clipboards and pencils; tally chart.

What to do

Explain to the children that they are going to investigate which colours are used the most on ‘street furniture’ (letter boxes, litterbins, signposts, and so on). Plan and check out a suitable route in your local area that takes in as many examples as possible. Make a simple tally chart beforehand, with sections for the colours that are common to your chosen route (these are likely to be red, yellow, grey, green and ‘other’). Check that the children know how to complete a simple tally chart.

letterbox image

Ensuring adequate adult supervision, take the children on a walk around the local area. Ask them to make a tally of the colour of the street furniture that they see.

When you return to school, discuss what the children found out. What were the most/least common colours? Can they explain why? What items might we need to see from a distance? (‘Signs, letter boxes and so on’.) What items do we not necessarily need to have our attention specially drawn to? (‘For example, lamp posts and manhole covers’.) What colour are they? Why?

Ask the children to draw a map of their route using coloured stickers or pens to mark the colours they saw and recorded.


Provide the children with a checklist showing drawings or photos of examples of street furniture. Ask them to tick each item when they find it, using an appropriately coloured pen. The objects can then be coloured in back in the classroom.



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