Color Investigations

By Ashbrook, Peggy | Science and Children, October 2008 | Go to article overview

Color Investigations


Ashbrook, Peggy, Science and Children


Blue green, blue grass, blue ice, cobalt, light blue, cornflower blue, blue Jazz (what color is that?!), the list goes on and on. Colors are one of the earliest classification systems that parents teach their children, and it is such a complicated topic that children can continue to study it throughout their school years. The topic of color can be a springboard to diverse topics including colors in nature, how vision works, the function of color vision in animals, and the properties of light. Learning about color addresses part of the National Science Education Content Standards A (Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry and Understanding about scientific inquiry) and B (Properties of objects and materials, and Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism). Plus, color is a fun topic to explore.

As one of those things that we cannot directly see, much of the electromagnetic spectrum is a mystery to children (and many adults who never learned or don't remember how their radio or microwave works). Unlike light reflecting off mirrors or glass, we can't see the path of most electromagnetic waves. The visible light that we experience as color is part of the larger electromagnetic spectrum.

Teaching the names of the colors or using them in the classroom (e.g, for color patterns, math groups, and so on) and referring to various hues as reddish-purple or greenish-blue can raise children's awareness that the colors make up a spectrum, preparing them to understand in later years that the spectrum stretches further than we can see. Color mixing activities can also help children understand that colors can change gradually into another color. Rainbows, a symbol of the visible light spectrum, are popular with young children even though they are unaware of the details, such as the refraction of light and light traveling in waves. If you have a sunny classroom window, hang a prism and look for rainbows.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Individual exploration with flashlights and colored acetate film and paints and water are a basis for further thinking. Even children who do not yet know names for the colors they see can learn about the nature of the materials through exploration.

Peggy Ashbrook (scienceissimple@yahoo.com) is the author of Science Is Simple: Over 250 Activities for Preschoolers and teaches preschool science in Alexandria, Virginia.

Resources

DeVita, C., and S. Ruppert. 2006. Secret message science goggles. Science and Children 44(7): 30-35.

National Research Council (NRC). 1996. National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Mixing Light and Mixing Pigments

Objectives:

* To explore mixing colors

* To notice if the same results are achieved each time the same two colors are combined

Materials:

* Squares of red, blue, and yellow filter sheets, commonly available from craft or artist stores (see Internet Resource)

* Flashlights (at least 3)

* White paper

* Crayons in a large spectrum of colors

* Clear plastic egg cartons or cups

* Pipettes

* Water

* Food coloring or liquid watercolors in red, yellow, and blue

Procedure:

1. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Color Investigations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.