Grade: Middle
Subject: Science

#1808. What's Your Favorite Color?

Science, level: Middle
Posted Fri Jun 23 07:19:51 PDT 2000 by James Sprau (
Holmes Junior High, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Materials Required: internet connection, Inspiration software, spreadsheet software
Activity Time: 1 week
Concepts Taught: Scientific Method-Critical Thinking

Using the Internet to Enhance Student Learning: Jim Sprau

Task: Conduct a research project that uses the scientific method as its framework.

Title: What's Your Favorite Color?

Subject Matter Emphasis and Level: 7th Grade Science

Brief Description of the lesson:
1. Students will investigate the psychology behind color choices using two sites on the Internet, and They will use the charts to answer questions on a short study guide and construct an Inspiration file that incorporates the data found in the charts. The study guide will be used for discussion purposes and will help them begin to formulate their hypotheses about what are the most popular passenger car/truck colors. These Inspiration files can be copied to web pages by using a screen shot.
2. The students will form a Hypothesis about the most popular color choice for passenger cars and trucks. It will be stated as " The most popular color for a passenger car/truck is _______." After their hypotheses have been formulated, they will need to justify it with a short statement that connects their hypotheses to the data they reviewed on the Internet related to colors and emotions.
3. After formulating their hypotheses, the students will generate ideas about how they might Gather Information to support their hypotheses. Some of the examples might include
1. Counting cars and colors in large parking lots.
2. Calling car dealers. (could be used to support their findings)
3. Going to a busy intersection or street and counting cars and colors.

Students will be paired up will construct an Inspiration file* that maps out their experiment using the scientific method:
1. State the Problem to be posed.
2. Gather Information-summarize previous research
3. Form a Hypothesis
4. Test the Hypothesis through experimentation
a. where will you collect your data (create a data table on a spreadsheet
b. when will you collect your data
c. how will you record your data
d. What will you do about colors such as teal, burgundy, etc.
5. Draw Conclusions
*A template exists within Inspiration but let the students make their own file unless they discover it.
4. Students will carry out their experiments and collect their data. Following the collection of data, they will enter the data into their spreadsheets and turn in a hardcopy.
5. After completing their spreadsheets, they will construct their web pages to present their data.

Why Do This?
This project relates to our district's vision, "Educating each student to be a lifelong learner."

This project teaches students to apply a systematic process or strategy to problem solving. This process or strategy relates not only to the area of science but also to every other facet of life. Identifying problems, predicting, gathering data and drawing conclusions is a process that can enhance their intellectual development throughout their lives.

This lesson will rely on multiple sources of information as well as student collaboration.

1. Students will gather information from the Internet.
2. Students will create a graphic outline of their work.
3. Students will formulate and carry out an experiment.
4. Students will use a spreadsheet to create a data table.
5. Students will create their own page on a web site to present their findings.
6. Students will collaborate with a partner and share their finding with students from other schools in the metro area.
7. Students will apply the process they have learned to other problem situations.

It will be necessary to present some of the vocabulary found on the Modern American Color Associations table prior to using it on the Internet. Some but not all the vocabulary is outside the normal range of many seventh graders.

Student Role:
Students will select the type of experimental situation they feel will best test their own hypotheses. They will tailor their web page to their own "look" to best present their findings.

Students will be assessed based on a timeline of completion. If the different sections below are turned in on time, full points will be given.
1. Colors and Emotions Activity (Inspiration file) 10 points
2. Scientific Method Activity ( Inspiration file) 10 points
3. Data Table for testing hypothesis (spreadsheet file) 10 points
4. Creation of the web page to present their findings ( 10 points
5. Students will also evaluate each other's final web pages. 10 points

Further assessment will occur at intervals following the completion of the project. Students will occasionally be asked to formulate other problems or questions and those student generated problems will be processed in the same way this lesson was, using the scientific method. This will help students make this systematic approach to problem solving part of their thinking not only in the area of science but in all aspects of their lives.

Prior to this lesson, students will need to know how to set up a spreadsheet, create an Inspiration document, and construct a webpage on

Teaching Strategies
This lessons depends upon students being interested in how color can effect decisions people make. They will design their own experiment and carry it out. The students will also design their own web pages to present their project on the Internet.

Materials and Resources
Web Sources:

1Web Site Design & Consulting Services. Modern American Color Associations table.
[2000, June 21]
This site is in table form. It presents a modified version of the "Modern American Color Associations" table from the book, Color Psychology and Color Theory, by Faber Birren. The columns include the color; it's general appearance, mental associations, direct associations, objective associations, and subjective associations.

2Reprotech Digital Media Services. (June 20, 00)
The Mood of Colour.
[2000, June 21]
This site presents a color wheel that describes emotions that colors seem to evoke in people.

Students will work in pairs to complete the project. They will be selected by the instructors. Most work will be done in the computer lab with each student having access to his or her own computer workstation. Students will be allowed to send home their files so they can work on them there on there own computers.

The pairing of the students should take into consideration the diverse skills and knowledge that are apparent in any classroom. Having students with lesser abilities paired with more skilled and knowledgeable students will be part of the criteria for setting up the groups.

Support Services
Since we will attempt to collaborate with other science classes in the metro area, we will need to establish a common open website so everyone can contribute. This will be done by creating websites on . Our school will establish an Index Site that links to everyone else's pages. Each student pair will create their own website. Any students, who want to go a step further, can create a page that combines data from all experiments into one large database. They could then see if their conclusions still are the same as they were for their own individual experiments.

It will also be necessary to set up a common email site so information and questions can be handled back and forth between the different classes. We will use to set up a community email site. Everyone will be given the username and password and be asked to include their name and the recipient in the subject field when writing emails.