Mixing Colors With Light Beams

Angela President Chicago Public School
1819 Pershing Road
Chicago IL 60609
(773) 535-8000


The objective of this lesson is for pre-schoolers and primary
graders to learn about mixing colors by light beams. The enjoyment of seeing
the colors change and learning the difference from mixing paints.

Materials Needed:

These materials are for the teacher to give the lesson.

Three Projectors or some source of light to project the
different colors of mylar paper
A color template
Three pieces of mylar paper, green, blue and red
Three small or medium size mirrors
An overhead projector


To begin this lesson the teacher is to give a homework
assignment the night before. The homework assignment is for the children to go
home and look at their color television screen. While looking at the T.V. move
very close to it and see what colors they see.
When they return the next morning, you ask who did their
homework. Those children are to tell you what colors they saw. The teacher
then explains that they are going to mix colors of light today.
You begin by placing your three color template on the overhead
projector. Turn the overhead projector on, then turn it around so the light
beams are toward the back of the class. Now you will ask three students to help
find the light beams with the mirrors. When they find them, ask that they put
them on the front wall or screen if you have one. Now you ask them "If you mix
red and blue together what will you get?", they will say purple. Then you ask
the children who have red and blue to put their light beams together. Then ask
"What if green and red were mixed together, what color would you get?" As you
ask the questions you are mixing the lightbeams. Give the children a chance to
try to mix them on their own and take turns. You are also to mix all colors
together in different ways.
RED, BLUE and GREEN MAKE WHITE YES WHITE Discuss colors, color mixing by addition is the mixing of light of different frequencies. Performance Assessment:

I have made this simple for primary children. They will
enjoy seeing the lights and colors. This lesson can be used for upper grades if
you add a more difficult task. You can also have the children work with paints
and learn the difference by working with different colors.


1. The amazement of this lesson is due to the way the human eye works.
2. Note, the primary colors of light are different than the primary colors of


Ms. Ann Brandon, my mentor in S.M.I.L.E. Physics

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