Lesson Plan #: AELP-GEN0006
An AskERIC Lesson Plan
AUTHOR: Sue Fischer; Cheney, WA
GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: K-3 Science
Science needs to be integrated and hands-on right from the beginning
of school. Students need to get used to handling the tools and materials
of science as well as learn scientific method and how science is a part
of almost everything.
This lesson introduces 1st - 3rd graders to the idea of scientific
experimentation - data collection, hypothesis forming, and trial and error.
OBJECTIVES: At the conclusion of this lesson the student will
The primary colors, red, blue, and yellow
How these colors mix to make other colors
How to use a simple data chart.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
6 baby food jars or equivalent for each group
four or more straws (thin ones work best) for each group
three test tubes or equivalent for each group
large bottle of red, blue, and yellow food coloring
sponges to clean up spills water
bucket for waste if no sink
data sheet for each group
Students work in groups of two to three (or one large group if no one can
write except the teacher) to brainstorm as many colors as possible. Research
may be done at this point by looking in crayon boxes, dictionaries, wallpaper
books- whatever resources are available if a group cannot think of at least
Each group then gets:
Using the straw as a pipette, students put drops of colored water from
the baby food jars into the test tubes to make different colors. Allow
ten to fifteen minutes for exploration.
When everyone has had a chance to play and experiment on their own, introduce
the data sheet. On this sheet each group records how many drops of each
color it takes to make a new color. Some will need to record the drops
of each color and then write what color they made, some will be ready to
hypothesize what it will take to make a certain color. The activity can
be continued for older students by having groups exchange sheets and try
to replicate others' colors.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Baby food jars with the following contents:
1 - red food colored water
2 - blue food colored water
3 - yellow food colored water
4 - plain water
5 - empty ( for dumping waste)
6 - empty ( for holding test tubes)
Three test tubes, along with many admonitions about the fragility of said
test tubes (baby food jars can be substituted for the test tubes, but you
will need 6 times as much food coloring.)
At the end of the time, groups share prettiest, ugliest, and most
unusual colors they made and tell how they made them. Only colors with
formulas may be discussed. Ask who might do this task for a living and
why. How will what they learned today help with any other tasks they might
encounter in school or at home?
These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have
attended the Columbia Education Center's Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium
of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of
education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality
of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of
their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers
to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at
This activity has been copied, with permission, from the
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to
allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the
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