Talk Together: Rainbow CDs

  • CDs
  • flashlight (optional)
  • color
  • light (n)
  • rainbow

MA Standards:

Speaking and Listening: SL.PK.MA.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners during daily routines and play.
Language: L.PK.MA.1: Demonstrate use of oral language in informal everyday activities.
Language: L.PK.MA.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, listening to books read aloud, activities, and play.

MA Draft STE Standards:

PS4.D: Compare and sort materials into those that allow all, some, or no light to pass through them. [Cause and Effect]

Head Start Outcomes:

Language Development/Receptive Language: Attends to language during conversations, songs, stories, or other learning experiences.
Language Development/Expressive Language: Uses language to express ideas and needs.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Language 2: Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.

Talk Together: Rainbow CDs

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

STEM Key Concepts: There are many different colors

ELA Focus Skills: Speaking and Listening, Vocabulary

Review what children know about rainbows. Explain what causes a rainbow to appear: When we see a rainbow, we are seeing white light being separated. As light travels through rain, mist, or the spray from a garden hose, it bends. When the light bends, each visible wavelength bends at a different angle, so they separate and we can see their colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

Hold up a CD and describe what it is and explain that, when light hits the reflective, (silvery) plastic-coated aluminum on the backside of the CD, tiny ridges break up the white light. Then tell children they are going to use a CD to make a rainbow.

  • Show children an old CD (one that can be handled without fear of damage). Turn it over so the smooth, very reflective underside is showing.
  • Model how to move it slowly so it catches the light from overhead lights or incoming sunlight. Ask, What colors do you see?
  • Make the colors even bigger and brighter by darkening the room. Before shining a flashlight on the CD, ask, What do you think will happen when I shine the flashlight on the CD? Do you think the colors will be the same or different?

Give each child a CD so he or she can explore making rainbows. Help younger children hold the CDs as needed.

  • Say, I wonder what colors you will see in your rainbows. Record children’s ideas.
  • After children are finished exploring, ask, What colors did you see in your rainbow? Let’s compare what you saw to what we thought we would see. Discuss children’s observations.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Email this page Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Email this page