Explore Together (indoors): Colored Lenses

  • clipboard
  • color paddles (or sheets of colored acetate; colored plastic notebook dividers; transparent; red, blue, yellow)
  • marker
  • change
  • color
  • mix
  • transparent

MA Standards:

speaking and Listening/SL.PK.MA.1a: Observe and use appropriate ways of interacting in a group (e.g., taking turns in talking, listening to peers, waiting to speak until another person is finished talking, asking questions and waiting for an answer, gaining the floor in appropriate ways).
Language/L.PK.MA.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, listening to books read aloud, activities, and play.

MA Draft STE Standards:

Matter and Its Interactions/Structure and Properties of Matter/PS1.A: Describe, compare, sort and classify objects based on observable physical characteristics, uses, and whether it is manufactured as part of their classroom play and investigations of the natural and human-made world.

Head Start Outcomes:

Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Collects, describes, and records information through discussions, drawings, maps, and charts.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

Science and Technology/Inquiry Skills 3: Identify and use simple tools appropriately to extend observations.
English Language Arts/Language 2: Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.
Science and Technology/Living Things and Their Environment 15: Use their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste to explore their environment using sensory vocabulary.

Explore Together (indoors): Colored Lenses

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: There are many different colors; Two or more colors can be combined to make a new color; Objects appear to be a different color when viewed through a transparent colored material; The color of light looks different after passing through a transparent colored material 

ELA Focus Skills: Follow Directions, Speaking and Listening, Vocabulary

Invite children to explore the room with color paddles and/or colored acetate. Say, Just like we did outdoors, let’s explore looking at objects through the colored transparent paddles. Ask questions such as,

  • What happens to an object when you look at it through the colored paddles? Why do you think that happens?
  • How is that the same or different from our explorations with mixing colors?
  • What do you think will happen if you look at Liam's had through a red and a yellow paddle? Why do you think that will happen?

Have children to work in pairs as they look at each other and at various objects through the colored paddles. Encourage them to draw pictures to record their observations. As they explore, ask questions such as,

  • What do you think will happen when you look at the (yellow) wall through the (red) paddle?
  • How does the (yellow) wall change when you look at it through the (red) paddle?
  • What do you think will happen to the color of light as it passes through the blue paddle? Why do you think that?

Reflect and Share Together
Encourage children to share their observations. Use children’s recordings and your notes to support discussion. Say,

  • Compare your indoor and outdoor explorations with tansparent paddles. How were they the same or different?
  • What happened to the light as it passed through the red and yellow paddles? Why do you think that happened?
  • What did you notice happened to an object when you looked at it through a colored paddle? What happened when you looked at the same object through two different colored paddles?

Adaptation: If you are working with younger children, you might prefer to have each child do the activity individually, with one-to-one supervision.

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