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A New Way of Looking

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Keywords: Observation, Bending of Light, Discussion, Pigment, Paint, Rainbows, LIght, Prism, Galileo, Lens, Flashlight
Subject(s): Reading, History, Drama, Writing, Science, Social Skills, Art, Physics
Grades 5 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, Oklahoma City, OK
Planned By: Ed Long
Original Author: Ed Long, Oklahoma City
A New Way of Looking
Lesson 2 of 3 (Unit consists of 3 lessons)
5th-8th Grade

“Prisms are very special types of lens. Refraction in a prism breaks the beam of visible light into its basic colors. White light is a mixture of seven colors. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The rainbow is white light dispersed into is seven colors” (Usborne Science Encyclopedia, p. 216).

Books Needed:

• The Usborne Science Encyclopedia page 216 under the heading Dispersion

Materials for each group of 4:
• Prism
• Flashlight
• Colors (Seven colors of the rainbow)

Remind students not to point the flashlight in anyone’s face.

Question and Answer (to be memorized):

What is white light?

A mixture of seven colors of light. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

How is a rainbow formed?

The dispersion of white light into its seven colors.

You can read or to refer to Genesis 9:16-17 about Noah and the rainbow. Ask the students the following question. Have you ever seen a rainbow? How does a rainbow form? (Allow students time to theorize about rainbows but don’t go into details with students about light allow the students to see the light disperse into its colors with the prism then discuss light and lenses)

Tell students you will be handing out a prism to each group. A prism is a type of lens. Ask students to think about the first lesson and ask students what they saw during the first lesson with lenses. The students should talk about how lenses refract or bend light. Ask the student what they think a prism will do if it is a lens?
1. Hand out flashlights and ask students to experiment with the prism and flashlight.
2. Allow time for each person in the group to experiment
3. Stop the activity and ask the student what they are seeing?
4. If no group can see the light broken into colors go around to each group and show them the light will disperse into seven colors
5. Each student should write out their observations.

As a class discuss what the students saw and then explain what really happened. See page 216 in the Usborne Science Encyclopedia to help you explain light dispersion.

Here the teacher can go a step further and explain why the sky is blue during the day and yellow/orange at sunset. (www.weatherwizkds.com/experiments-bluesky.htm)

What is white light?

A mixture of seven colors of light. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

How is a rainbow formed?

The dispersion of white light into its seven colors.

Why is the sky blue?

The dispersion of blue light from white light.
Ask students to play with bubbles at home to observe how the bubbles act like lenses. Or Create your own rainbow http://www.physicscentral.com/experiment/physicsathome/rainbow.cfm

Students could use the following applications to further the concept understand of light:
CamWow Free app from Jing Chang or Photo fx a $0.99 app from the Tiffen Company to use camera colored filters to take picture. This will allow students to manipulate the light to see how different light colors changes how the eye perceives color.

Rainbow Draw Free app from 1AM Technologies LLC if the school had tablets.
This would enrich this lesson with a combination art and technology.


The more advance students can use a virtual lab over focal length at https://newonlinelearning.newpathlearning.com/free-curriculum-resources/virtual_lab/Mirrors_and_Lenses/10/8,9,10,11,12,13,14/1911
ISTEStandards Students:
1a Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
1c Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
3d Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
5b Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision making.
6b Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
ISTE Standards Educators:
1c Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
3b Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
4a Dedicate planning tine to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
5a Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5c Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
6c Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
6d Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
Bendick, J. (1999). Along came Galileo. San Luis Obispo, CA: Beautiful Feet Books.
Weather Wiz Kids. (n.d.). Blue sky. Retrieved from www.weatherwizkds.com
Clarke, A. (1817). The Holy Bible. London: printed for J. Butterworth and Son.
Craig, A., Rosney, C., Lyon, C., Shackell, J., Jackson, I., & Usborne Publishing Ltd. (2003). The Usborne science encyclopedia. London: Usborne.
NASA. (n.d.). Hubble. Retrieved from http://www.NASA.gov
New Online Learning. (n.d.) Mirror and lenses. Retrieved from https://newonlinelearning.newpathlearning.com/free-curriculum-resources/virtual_lab/Mirrors_and_Lenses/10/8,9,10,11,12,13,14/1911
Physics 4 Kids. (n.d.). Light and lens. Retrieved from http://www.physics4kids.com
Physics Central. (n.d.). Rainbow. Retrieved from http://www.physicscentral.com/experiment/physicsathome/rainbow.cfm
Pritchard, D. R. (2005). Physics II: Gizmos, gadgets, gears, and gravity! Fort Collins, CO: Noeo Science Curriculum, Ltd.
STEM Mom. (n.d.). Light. Retrieved from http://www.stemmom.org
Weather Wiz Kids. (n.d.). Blue sky. Retrieved from www.weatherwizkds.com
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Art could use lens/filters of different colors to affect the way light is reflected and absorbed on different objects.

History lessons about Galileo’s contributions to society and how these contributions have changed how we see the world today. These students could take a field trip to The University of Oklahoma exhibit of the Galileo collection of books and other artifacts.

Writing classes would write out students’ observations of the natural world like Galileo did throughout his life by nature journaling.
Students would continue reading about Galileo’s life from the book Along Came Galileo and perform experiments of physics.
Materials: Televisions
Other Items: 20 Roku Televisions, $1,100 each
60 Tablets, $200 each, total of $12000.00