The Pre-K class has just begun rehearsing the play they've been writing since January. They need a space ship to take them to planets where 8 of the 9 of them will live.
The box that came along with our giant tube fits 8 children with no room to spare, so it was a likely candidate to fill the role. The script as written, however, is silent on the subject of what color the space ship should be, so we put it to a vote, a group decision-making process we've come to accept as fair since last September. Back then, many of us would angrily object, even cry, when we found ourselves in the minority, but now we've come to understand that you win a few, you lose a few, and that's part of what it means to do things together.
In the first round of voting, we were able to eliminate red, blue, aquamarine, and brown, leaving us with a tie between black and rainbow. Before we went to a last-man-standing elimination round, either Dennis or Max, I forget which, proposed a compromise of "half black and half rainbow," a solution agreed to instantly and unanimously. Consensus is harder to attain, but is always more satisfying than majority rules.
How to paint the black half was self-evident, but I know from experience that unregulated "rainbow" painting tends to result in preschool gray. I asked the kids if they knew what would happen if we mixed all the rainbow colors together and they knew it too, so we divided the rainbow side into sections with masking tape before getting to work.
It's not easy staying inside the lines, but they self-regulated well as a group, employing the time-tested technique of saying, "Hey! You got red in my blue!" and answering, "Oh, sorry."
And that's how you work together to paint a black and rainbow space ship.