The Effect of Color: A Jam-Packed Video Resource

Can you imagine what our world would look like without color? Color is one of the most important elements of art and my personal favorite to teach. I’m constantly searching for new ways to introduce color to my middle school students. Recently, a colleague told me about an amazing video on color. The Effect of Color is a PBS video from the Off Book series. I love this video! It’s short, only 7 minutes 29 seconds, and it’s jammed packed with information about how color affects our daily lives. It is a must see video! I hope you enjoy it as much as my students and I did.

Isn’t that colorific?
How would you use this video with your students?

Cassidy Reinken

This article was written by former AOE writer and life-long learner, Cassidy Reinken.


  • guest

    There is a swear word in the video about 10 seconds in, not sure if you caught that. Kind of surprising for a PBS video!

    • That is surprising, since it’s an educational video. I didn’t catch it when I watched it, did you, Cassidy?

      • Kristyn

        I had to play it 3 times to hear it, but it is there.  I don’t think the kids would hear it…hmm

      • I didn’t catch it either. 
         I went back and watched it
        again.  Right at 11 seconds, they say, “You
        can make somebody feel something with color… piss them off.”  It’s difficult
        to hear what they’re actually saying.

        You can start the video at 13 seconds to avoid this
        sentence.   At 13 seconds, the video will
        start with the sentence, “Color is everywhere.” 

        My middle school students didn’t notice the word, and if
        they did hear it, they probably wouldn’t think anything of it.  Unfortunately, the words they hear and speak
        on a daily basis are worse than those in the video.

        Each teacher will have to preview and use their discretion
        as to whether or not they want to show it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  • Ms. Lynne

    I loved this color video! I will be showing it to my Middle and Upper School art students. I also joined the PBS Off Book series. It has some great videos useful for both my art and Graphic Design classes. Thanks.

  • Kari

    I absolutely loved this video! I was so excited all weekend to show it this morning to my 8th graders as an introduction to our color theory unit. I was brimming with excitement about all the great conversation starters during the whole thing. During the video, I was noticing how fast paced and attention grabbing it was, and how much was going on at once. To my shock and surprise, the first student comment at the end was “whoa, that, like, took FOREVER.” (it was 7 minutes long!!) and everyone agreed. Pefect example of how the current generation’s attention span and learning style is so drastically different from my own, and I’m barely a decade out of high school. I learned a lot, not only by watching this video, but by watching my students watch it.

  • Katie

    Didn’t hear the curse word because he talks so fast! Unfortunately, most of the information flew by too quickly too.