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I am Colorful

I AM COLORFUL

Supplies: White board/large notepad, markers, plastic wrap, muslin cloth, and tie dye

Preparation: Create your color identity list for step 7, mix tie dye bottles for both teach and apply, cut enough muslin cloths for all Novas, prep plastic wrap to lay under cloths

Note for this time:

  • If these Novas have already attended a Kaleidoscope program, skip steps 1-5 and quickly review the definition of a TCK using the color example below. Then begin at step six.

  • If these Novas are NOT third culture kids, then skip directly to step 7 to discuss all the colors that make up their unique identity.

  • If you are unsure about which category your Novas fall into, ask your conference coordinator.


  1. Lead the Novas to define “third culture kid” in their own words. Here are some discussion questions:

    1. What’s the difference between the way you’ve grown up and the way your cousins/parents/neighbors grew up?

    2. How many countries have you lived in?

    3. What’s the difference between living somewhere as a child and as an adult?

  2. Writing their suggestions on the whiteboard/notepad, develop a group definition of a third culture kid.

  3. Lay a piece of muslin on the plastic wrap. Begin using the blue tie dye, explaining that this represents  a passport country or parents’ culture (i.e. the US, Korea, England). NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED A LOT OF DYE!! Do not drench your cloth since the fabric is thin.

  4. Then, do the same with the yellow tie dye. Yellow represents a host culture (i.e. the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand).

  5. Repeat step 4 with green tie dye and explain, “When I went from the blue into the yellow, I did not lose my blue culture, but gained yellow. Because I was a kid when this happened, I combined both cultures to create a green one!”

  6. Take a moment to emphasize that the green represents what a TCK is. Ask if anyone has questions. Note: If someone is from more than 2 countries, they are still a third culture kid. Explain that every TCK is green, but we are all different shade.

  7. Then discuss this concept: “My identity does not stop here. I am more than the green from my two cultures. I am [your name].” Begin adding different colors to your muslin to represent different aspects of your life: for example, your faith (red), your family (pink), your passion for helping others (orange), etc—up to you! You can leave some spots plain if you desire. NOTE: Again, do not drench your cloth.

  8. We are colorful because of the colors that make us uniquely us. Ask the Novas to start thinking about what things in their lives the different colors represent. Remind them: “You are colorful because of all the colors that make you uniquely you.”

  9. When you are finished dying your muslins, lay them out flat to dry.