UEN Security Office
Technical Services Support Center (TSSC)
Eccles Broadcast Center
101 Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-6105 (fax)
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Experiments and demonstrations are used to help students understand that white visible light is composed of the colors of the spectrum.
For the Teacher:
For the Student:
People first thought rainbows were something of a supernatural explanation. The first person to realize that light contained color was a man in 1666 named Sir Isaac Newton. Newton discovered the colors when he bent light. We see a rainbow of colors when we use a prism or water to separate the colors of sunlight. Light is bent as it passes through the water or prism and the colors are spread apart into a spectrum. Each color becomes individually visible. Each color has a different wavelength with red being the longest and violet the shortest. When light passes through a prism or water, each color is bent at a different angle.
Color is an essential part of our life. Everything we see has color. Colors are in the clothes we wear, in the plants and animals. The sky is blue. The snow is white. The asphalt is black. Can you imagine what our world would be like if there were no color?
If you were asked to draw a rainbow, in which order would you put the colors? Young (and sometimes older) children may think each rainbow, like each person is unique. They're not aware that real rainbows contain specific colors and that these colors are always arranged in the same order. This is quite an amazing idea. All the rainbows that ever were or ever will be have the same colors in the same order.
Part 1: Making Light Bend
Part 2: Making a Rainbow
Part 3: Making White Light
Read any of the following books to lead additional activities related to color.
Use the Science Writing Rubric to assess responses in science journals.
Original lesson plan created by Rita Garbett.