Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center 


AUTHOR:  Faith  Touye; Anasazi Elementary School, Scottsdale, Arizona

GRADE LEVEL:  K-3 Science

OVERVIEW:  We often think of rainbows as magical.  This  makes the
rainbow an exciting starting point for study of the spectrum.  Think about
the colors of the rainbow: red orange, yellow green, blue indigo, violet.
The colors of visible light will be seen in this enjoyable experiment.

PURPOSE:  To teach beginning grades to be aware of the fascination of
astronomy  and teach elementary scientific principles.

  1.  To have children observe a visible spectrum.
  2.  Light demonstrates existence of a spectrum.
  3.  Notice that light hits bubble and  is reflected off the top and
      bottom of surfaces.
  4.  Reflected light separates into rainbow colors known as inference color.
  5.  Finally, as bubbles get thinner the colors become redder.

  Five  1 gallon containers of water
  Five   cups liquid washing detergent
  Light source  Sunlight or 1 or 2 light filament with sockets.

1.  Take children outdoors on a sunny day and divide children into science
2.  Use cooperative learning techniques and assign children their
job.(record keeper, time keeper, materials, clean-up etc.)
3.  In  pans gently mix water and detergent.
4.  Have children use straws to blow large bubbles.
5.  Observe bubbles while in sunlight and examine colors that appear on
surface of bubbles.
6.  Have children record colors of spectrum observed ,draw pictures, then
graph results.
7.  Have each group report its observations and display results for all to

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  Encourage children to share their discoveries and
results  of their experiments with their classmates, families and friends.
Use this lesson as a springboard to introduce a future unit on astronomy
and space.  Discuss the importance of color and how it plays and important
role in our lives as we make many color decisions each day.  Each of us
have different color preferences and we make others aware of it by the
colors we choose in our lives daily.


Language- Look up spectrum in the dictionary and have children discover
its meaning, syllables, part  of speech. etc.

Creative writing- Have children make up their own Rainbow Legend and
share it with classmates.

Art- Different colors of light and different colors of paint can be mixed:
red, green and blue combine to form white light.  Primary colors red, blue
and yellow make black.  Have kids experiment by mixing colors and then
paint their spectrum.

Home activities- In afternoon or early morning have children use a hose
with a sprayer to create a rainbow.

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