Monday, July 27, 2009

Rainbows

We woke up to a rainy day. From what I've heard it will probably be rainy most of the week. We like playing in the rain but sunshine is definitely more fun. We decided to talk about rainbows in hopes that the rain would go away soon.

We talked about the color of light. Is it really white? No, light is made up of wavelengths of colored light, specifically 7 colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet - the same colors seen in a rainbow. Nicholas was having a hard time remembering the colors so I started writing out "ROYGBIV" on a sheet of paper to show him a trick to remembering them. I was about half way through writing this and he asked, "Why are you writing the first letter of each color?" I was surprised that he had caught that. We talked about how to use this to help him figure out the colors in order. I didn't think it would really help him but I wanted to at least introduce it to him so it would be familiar to him. However, he did use it later to help him recall the colors in order.





We talked about what is needed in order to see a rainbow - light and something like water or a prism to separate the colors. After a storm, the sun comes out while there are still raindrops in the sky. The raindrops reflect the sunlight and separate the individual colors. Since the rain drops are curved, the rainbow appears curved in the sky.

We used a flashlight and a prism to reflect the light on a white piece of paper so we could see all 7 colors in light. Then we each made our own simple rainbows with styrofoam, pipe cleaners, and craft beads. I tried to neatly lay out all of our supplies but that didn't last long. How can a 5 year old possibly resist not sticking pipe cleaners into styrofoam?



The project was super easy and we had fun. I cut each pipe cleaner in half and we each arranged the pipe cleaners in order of the rainbow. Then we each counted out 10 craft beads in each color, strung them on the coordinating pipe cleaners and slid them into the styrofoam.





I love projects like this that work the fine motor skills in his fingers. Great exercises for developing better writing skills.





Well, it's still drizzly outside with no rainbows in sight. I think we'll just make the best of it and go splash in some puddles!

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