Step into the Magic of Colors:

Janine Garrett Crown Academy
2128 S. St. Louis
Chicago IL 60623


Primary Grades
1. Students will be able to identify primary and safety colors.
2. Understand how people see colors.
3. Identify which colors stand out best from a distance.
4. Show the results of mixing colored lights.
5. Discover a rainbow via prisms and feathers.
6. Demonstrate how detergents can cause molecules to move.

Materials needed:

Human eyesight experiment You will need red, blue, purple, yellow, and white paper. Color distance experiment You will need large squares of different colored paper, small squares of different colored paper and tape. Color and Light experiment You will need three flashlights, pieces of red, blue, and green cellophane paper, tape, white poster board. Color Spinners You will need 4" diameter brown or white cardboard, pencil, paint, markers. Prism Rainbows You will need glass prisms, and white light. Feather Rainbow You will need candle and feather. Currents of Color You will need milk, saucer, food coloring--red, blue and green liquid dish detergent. Strategy:

Students will be introduced to the science of color and light by listening to a
story called Book of Colors by Margery W. Brown. The class will discuss what
are happy/sad colors and winter/summer colors in the story. The class will look
at two objects, a white electric light bulb and a red tomato. The students will
learn that the bouncing effect is called reflection. White is made of all
colors of the rainbow. A tomato looks red because it reflects red light and
absorbs the other light. Students will further understand the colors one sees
via the human eyesight test. Students will learn that we have special cells
that make up part of the lining of the eyeball. They are called cones because
of the cone shape. Some cones respond to red, others to green or blue. Cut out
a small red square and tape onto a large white paper. Stare hard at the drawing
for a minute. Next stare at a blank piece of white paper. What color do you
see now? Repeat the same test with a different color square. Try to identify
all three cones. Now we will like to find out which colors stand out best from
a distance? Stick paper of one color onto different backgrounds, or stick
different colors onto the same background. Students will pair off into groups.
Ask a partner to hold up the different combinations at a distance. Which
combinations of colors stand out best? Let's see what happens when we mix
colored lights. Cut out pieces of cellophane that are the right size to fit
over the front of the flashlights. Make the flashlight red, blue, and green. In
a darkened room, shine the red and green flashlights on a white posterboard. A
yellow will be produced. Students will experiment and find out what colors are
made. Finally, we will describe what happens when we spin two colors together.
Draw a circle about 4 inches in diameter on the cardboard. Cut the circle out.
Paint the cardboard using two markers. Poke a starter hole in the center of the
cardboard circle. Use a pencil through the hole in the center of the circle.
Spin the spinner, and watch what happens to the colors.

Performance Assessment:

Students will be able to discover how colors are formed. Students will be able
to define colors, cones, and reflection. Students will be given 5 points by
orally responding to the following questions based on the four experiments.
1. What colors do you see?
2. Which combination of colors stand out best?
3. Which colors would you use for signs in a desert, a snowy mountain, or a
4. What colors are produced when two lights are mixed together?
5. What color is produced when two colors are spun together?


There are many activities one can do to explain color. Adjustments will
need to be made for each experiment. The experiments are human eye test,
color distance test, color light, color spinners.


Brown, Margery. Book of Colors. Orange, NJ. Just Us Books, Inc. 1991.
Taylor, Barbara. Over the Rainbow. New York. Random House. 1991.

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