Grade: Elementary
Subject: other

#189. Rainbow in a Jar

other, level: Elementary
Posted by Shelley Williams (
University of Memphis, Memphis,TN

Shelley Williams
ELED 3261

LESSON TITLE: Rainbow in a Jar


Pre - We were studying about primary and secondary colors.
Post - After this lesson we will have a quiz to see if the students can tell which
primary colors are used to make the secondary colors.

-Be able to name the primary colors.
-Be able to name the secondary colors.
-Be able to tell which primary colors are used to make the secondary colors.

1. Fill a gallon jar with water and place the jar to the side where the children
can observe the jar from all sides.
2. Let the water sit in the jar for a little while to let the currents from the top
subside. Diffusion will them occur at a slow natural pace.
3. Place one drop each of the primary colors ( red, yellow, blue) in the jar.
Dropping the colors in from a height of three to five centimeters will cause
the color streams to go deeper.
4. Observe the colors as they slowly spread through the water, forming
interesting shapes and patterns as they blend into the colors of the rainbow.
( Teacher does not talk during this, so the students can just sit and watch to
get the full effect.)

Set/ motivation:
First explain to the children what is going to be done, but do not
tell them what is going to happen. You can make statements such as:
- " Today we are going to do a fun experiment with the colors
that we have been studying. Can anyone tell me the names of
the primary colors?"
- " If we mix some of the primary colors, do you think they will
change and make other colors?"
- "Watch this experiment, and let's see what happens."

Teaching Strategies: While demonstrating this activity, the teacher will be observing the children.

Checking for understanding: After the experiment is over, the teacher will then discuss with the students what they saw and get feedback on what they thought about the activity and how it went.

Supervised Practice: At this point the supervised practice should be done through alternative activities. The teacher will give the students other activities that let them figure out the colors for themselves.

Closure/ summary:
1. Ask the students what they observed through this activity.
2. Let the students tell you again the names of the primary and the secondary colors.
3. After the students have told you about numbers 1 and 2, ask them if they understand how the experiment worked and if they have any questions.
4. Dismiss the students either into small groups or to centers already set up for them to go and experiment on their own with the colors.

Alternative and/or Supplemental Activities:

Independent Practice: Have the students take a quiz on the names of the primary colors and what colors it takes to make the secondary colors.

Enrichment: The students could do activities at their own decks, such as:
1. Do the same activity in a smaller jar by themselves.
2. Take crayons and mix them to see what colors they can make.
3. Make a color wheel.

Reteach: If there are students that do not understand, the teacher can take them as a group or one on one and show them the experiment again. The teacher can also show the class different ways to do the experiment in the jar. (Examples: make the water rough, have the water hot or extremely cold, or do the drops of food coloring from different heights.)

1. 1 gallon jar
2. food coloring
3. water