Objective: Children will investigate how rainbows appear, their colors, and make a rainbow in the classroom.‹ Return to Theme
Note: Try to plan this activity for a bright, sunny day.
A rainbow is a curved arc of light of many colors across the sky. Rainbows occur after a storm, when the Sun begins to shine while the air is still filled with raindrops. Rainbows are caused by the sunlight bending as it shines through drops of water. The raindrops act like miniature prisms and bend the different colors that are found in sunlight. The light spreads out into an arc-shaped band of colors that are reflected back to us, and we see that band of colors as a rainbow.
Sunlight looks white, but it actually contains many colors mixed together. When sunshine hits water or raindrops, all of the colors get separated. A rainbow is actually a full circle of light, but because we are looking at it from the ground, we can only see an arc of the rainbow. The lower the Sun is in the sky, the higher the arc of the rainbow will be. Sometimes, we can see a double rainbow. The inner rainbow is brighter and has a red band on the top and a blue band on the bottom; in the outer rainbow, the colors are reversed!
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.