Making a Rainbow

Author Laura Perkins
Grade Level 3-5

Lesson Plan Description
Learners will learn the colors of the rainbow and how rainbows are formed.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Area: ELA

Strand: Language

Standard: 4.13 Determine the meaning of unknown words using their context.

Entry Point: Follow simple directions (one-, two, or three-step).


Area: Mathematics

Strand: Number Sense and Operation

Standard: 4.N.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the base ten number system by reading, modeling writing and interpreting whole numbers to at least 100,000; demonstrating an understanding of the values of the digits; and comparing and ordering the numbers.

Entry Point:   

            Spiraled back to:

            Area: Mathematics

            Strand: Number Sense and Operation

            Standard: K.N.1 Count by ones to at least 20

            Entry Point: Understand the concept of counting whole numbers


Area: Science and Technology

Strand: Technology/Engineering

Standard: 2.2 Describe different ways in which a problem can be represented, e.g., sketches, diagrams, graphic organizers, and lists.

Entry Point: Draw a picture/diagram of a specific object to be constructed.

Additional Learning Objective(s):
Sequencing and Describing, Follows one step directions, Group participation.  Other objectives could incorporate sharing skills and peer interactions.

     Introduction (3 minutes)

Teacher will introduce lesson by playing a song about rainbows, and then asking learners where they have seen a rainbow. After this, learners will be informed that they will see a rainbow in the classroom.


    Lesson Body (20 minutes)

i.         Assessment: Learners will be asked to color in a rainbow template; teacher will place multiple colored crayons in front of each learner. Each learner will be given the colors seen in rainbows and two neutral colors.  Data will be taken on whether learners use different colors.

 ii.         Teacher will show learners a sequence of events that create a rainbow and will explain that rainbows are usually seen after a rainstorm. This is because the water bends the sun's light, creating all the colors that they see on the wall, in the shape of a rainbow. The teacher will demonstrate the difference between a straight light beam, using a flashlight, and a bent light using a flashlight and mirror.

 iii.         Teacher will then tell learners that they are going to make a rainbow on the wall. Teacher will take out a large glass bowl and a mirror and demonstrate how to make a rainbow. Each learner will have a turn to create their own rainbow. Teacher will ask what colors they see. Each learner will have a pile of color cards in front of them. Learners will select and name the colors they see in the rainbow and place them on the rainbow template. Once all students have had a turn, the teacher will review with the learners what they saw and what colors they were able to see in the rainbow. Learners can refer to the colors placed on the template to help with recalling information.

 iv.         For an activity, learners will be able to create their own rainbow on a slice of bread. Learners will each be able to add 7 drops of food coloring to a cup of milk. Learners will be instructed to use their paintbrush and colored milk to paint a rainbow in their bread.  Learners will be given some sugar to sprinkle over the bread and the bread will be toasted.

Note: Teacher will pour ¼ cup of milk in each plastic cup and add food coloring to make different colors.

 Closure of Lesson (7 minutes)

   i.         Teacher will assess learners on different skills. For LK, teacher will present 3 sequence cards and ask him to place them in order, by gluing them on a template. For LC and JS, teacher will ask them to circle 4 colors that they observed in the rainbows from a field of 8 colors. These assessments will serve as permanent products for evaluation.

   ii.         Learners will be allowed to eat their rainbow toast, once their assessments are complete.

  • a. Visual Cues
  • i. Schedule board
  • ii. Rule board
  • iii. Sequence of events for a rainbow
  • iv. Rainbow template for initial assessment
  • v. Crayons
  • vi. 3 sets of color cards
  • vii. Bowl with water
  • viii. Mirror
  • ix. 1 cup of milk
  • x. 3 slices of white bread
  • xi. 3 table spoons of sugar
  • xii. 4 plastic cups
  • xiii. 4 new paintbrushes
  • xiv. 4 different colors of food coloring
  • xv. Toaster
  • xvi. Foil
  • xvii. Flashlight

Assessment Guidelines:

Different assessments will be used based on learners' skill levels. One learner will be assessed on a sequencing task, and the other two learners will be assessed using a worksheet with multiple colors and will be asked to circle the correct colors.

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