Denmark specialist teacher discovers how learning with a splash of colour can change lives

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Specialist educator Marianna Greenham with her rainbow paper.
Camera IconSpecialist educator Marianna Greenham with her rainbow paper. Credit: Liam Croy / Albany Advertiser/Liam Croy

A Denmark specialist educator says writing on “rainbow paper” could be a game-changer for some children with learning difficulties.

Marianna Greenham has created a new form of paper, called Write-a-Rainbow paper, after she made an accidental discovery during her time helping students in Albany.

Now she is starting to market her product in the hope it will change lives across the country.

Ms Greenham helps students with many different learning problems — dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, autism, and behavioural issues.

She said some of her students seemed to struggle when writing on a blank piece of grey-lined writing paper.

One day, one struggling student complained the work was too “boring”. That was when the penny dropped.

“I needed a breakthrough and without giving it much thought, I handed her a packet of coloured pens and a ruler,” she said.

“How about you make it less boring? What about rainbow paper?

“She wiped her eyes, sat up straight and really enjoyed to draw coloured lines.

“What happened next was quite jaw dropping — she completed the story, the comprehension task, in 10 minutes and with a smile.

“Later she told me that she found the colours happy and relaxing, but she especially told me how she used each colour to organise her thinking.”

Ms Greenham tried the rainbow paper trick with other willing students — firstly some of her clients and her own grandchildren, and eventually entire classes of primary students.

“The responses of students, parents and teachers were so positive, that we decided to register the concept with IP Australia,” she said.

“It’s secured the designs and also shown there is no rainbow-lined paper anywhere in the world.”

She is in talks to have the pads of paper stocked at various stores for schools and parents to buy.

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