That Tricky Light

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					  Texas Afterschool Centers on Education

Lesson: That Tricky Light
  1) Description

Summary Describe in a sentence the objective for this lesson. This will show up in the
Lesson at a Glance in the Activity/Unit Plan.

   Identify the different properties of light & how prisms / colored filters affect those properties.

Lesson Description: Give a description about the lesson. What is the big picture and
purpose? What are the lesson goals and objectives?

   In this lesson, recruits will be able to identify that white light is made up of a mixture of
   many different colors of light as well as explain that a prism can be used to separate white
   light into many different colors of light. Recruits will also be able to explain how a colored
   filter works.

Lesson Duration (Hours/Sessions):
   1 hour/ 2 sessions

Instructor: (Select who is delivering this activity by right-clicking on the appropriate box
below and selecting Properties and select Checked)

           Certified Teacher

           College Student



Focused Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS):
 Focused TEKS:

   Primary TEKS covered are all aspects of 126.12. Secondary TEKS that are
   incorporated include 112.18.B. Additional TEKS can be incorporated based on specific
   focus and desired outcomes by the instructor. If lesson is scaled up or down, TEKS
   should be adjusted accordingly.


ELPS (English Language Proficiency Standards): Follow the link for an
ELPS guide - (If applicable)

        ELL Learning Strategies:





Technology: If applicable; use short descriptive statements.

   demonstrate knowledge and appropriate use of operating systems, software applications, and
   communication and networking components.

Information Acquisition:
   demonstrate the ability to identify the source, location, media type, relevancy, and content
   validity of available information.

Solving Problems:
   demonstrate proficiency in the use of multimedia authoring programs by creating linear or
   non-linear projects incorporating text, audio, video, and graphics

   publish information in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, printed copy, monitor
   display, Internet documents, and video

Key Vocabulary Terms/Academic Language What are key words and terms that
students should use as part of their discussions, written work, and in showing understanding
in this lesson?

   Misconception, Prism, Component, Filter, Spectrum, Hypothesis, Experimentation,
   Observation, Reflection, Refraction

  2) Supplies & Setup

Lesson Materials:
   Silly Putty, Glass Equilateral Prisms, Colored Filters (Green, Blue, and Red)

   White Computer Paper, Light Sources(Clear Light Bulbs), Scotch Tape, Black Poster Board,
   Bubble wands / Wire frame shapes, Distilled Water, Joy (dish soap), Glycerin (found at local

   Computers, TV/ Monitor/Projector/Electronic Whiteboard, pen/pencil, paper.

Lesson Resources: These can include people, web sites, references, etc.
   Internet, Class Blog Site

Room Preparation/Materials Set-Up: How should the room and materials be

   The room should be set up with a long table in the middle of the room and plenty of space for
   recruits to walk around and observe the experiment. Recruits should be able to gather nearby
   for discussion and have access to a computer and the Internet.

Grouping of Students/Parents/Family: Select those that apply How will you group
students/parents/families for each section of the lesson to structure peer-to-peer interaction?
How will you get them into these groups (e.g., counting off, common )

        Whole Group


        Groups of 4-5


Grouping Strategy How will you get them into their groups?

        Counting Off

        Common Interests


        Common Tasks


  3) Lesson Outline

Engage - (written in easy to follow steps): How can you elicit their previous
knowledge? What do they already know about this topic? How does this topic connect to their
world? Service Learning: How will you guide them in identifying a service learning project?
How will you guide them in learning about their selection and assessing needs?

   [Begin Session One]

   Step 1) Welcome the recruits to the next training series. Ask the recruits what they know
   about lasers? Explain that lasers are just concentrated light that moves in one direction and is
   only one color based on the level of energy of the laser. To learn more about lasers, go to

   Step 2) Explain to the recruits that light has many properties and is invaluable to our modern
   world. In this lesson, we are going to explore light & color. Remind the recruits to take notes
   so that they can recap their learning in their blogs.
   Step 3) Instruct the recruits to think back to the days when they colored. They might have felt
   that white paper represented the absence of color and that black was the combination of all
   the colors. In reality, just the opposite is true. White light is the presence of all colors and
   black is the absence of all colors. Discuss this as a group and theorize why this is true.

   Step 4) Watch the video Out of Darkness: Color found at .
   Discuss as a group. Let’s explore in depth!

Explore - (written in easy to follow steps): What hands-on/exploration activities
will they do? How will they be working – groups, individually? Service Learning: How will
they explore key components and possibilities around the community issue? What are some
causes behind the issues? What is the academic connection?

   Pre-Class) At least a day before the activity mix a batch of bubble solution. For strong, long
   lasting bubbles use equal parts Joy (dishwashing soap), glycerin (can be found at a pharmacy
   or chemical supply store), and distilled water.

   Step 1) As an introduction have the recruits blow bubbles and dip the wire frame shapes into
   the pre-mixed bubble solution. (Have the recruits write down their hypotheses, observations,
   and answers to the questions for their blog entries.)

   Step 2) Have the recruits setup the equipment on the center table. Set up the source of light at
   one end of the table. The prism should be placed on the desk a couple inches from the narrow
   slit in the black piece of construction paper. You may want to secure the piece of black
   poster board using silly putty. It should be positioned so that the light passing through the
   slit passes through the equilateral prism and on to a white piece of paper taped to an upright
   textbook on the other end of the table.

   Step 3) Have the recruits follow the line of light from the prism on the surface of the desk or
   table in order to position the viewing paper. Position the upright text book so that a spectrum
   can be clearly seen on the white piece of paper (as the textbook increases in distance from
   the prism the spectrum will become larger but dimmer). They should position the prism and
   textbook so that only one clear spectrum is visible.
   *Note* Clear light bulbs must be used to produce a good spectrum, frosted bulbs will not

   *Caution** The light bulbs will get hot!

   Step 4) Have the recruits observe the light before it enters the prism by placing a small
   additional piece of paper in front of the beam before the prism. Now have the recruits
   observe the slit of light after it leaves the prism by observing the viewing paper taped to the
   wall (It was white light before it entered the clear prism, and now the light is broken up into
   many different colors after the light traveled through the prism).

   Step 5) Share with the recruits that in the next training lesson they are going to replicate this
   experiment but with the added effect of using colored filters. Encourage the recruits to learn
   more about the properties of light before the next session.

   [End of Session One]

Explain - (written in easy to follow steps): How will they show understanding,
observations, and hypotheses of the topics/concepts in their own words? Introduce students to
models, laws, theories and ask them to connect knowledge from the Explore phase using the
new terms/vocabulary. How will they explain their thoughts/ideas (to a partner, small group,
whole class)? Service Learning: What is a possible design or model that explains the issue?

   [Begin Session Two]

   Step 1) Welcome recruits to their next training session and ask them to set up last session’s
   light experiment exactly as described in session one.

   Step 2) Using a pencil, have the recruits mark the edges of the band of colors on the white
   viewing paper and label the locations of the different colors, making sure that they don’t
   move the prism or the paper.

   Step 3) Demonstrate for the group, what happens when you place a colored filter in front of a
   white beam of light (using a flashlight), and shine it on a white piece of paper.
   Step 4) Have the recruits come up with hypotheses about what will happen to the different
   colored bands of light on the viewing paper if they place a colored filter in the path of the
   light before it enters the prism.

   Step 5) Test the recruits hypotheses by having the recruits place different colored filters in
   the path of the slit of light, leaving the prism in its place. They should insert the filters into
   the path of the light before it enters the prism.

   Step 6) Have the recruits record the results and comment on whether the results proved or
   disproved their previous hypotheses.

   Step 7) Help the recruits come to the understanding that white light is made up of many
   different colors, that a prism can separate those colors, and that a colored filter only allows
   its color of light to pass.

Elaborate & Create - (written in easy to follow steps): They should be able to
process what they learned and share what they learned in a variety of ways (verbally, visually,
kinesthetically, etc.). How will they extend their learning and transfer their knowledge to new
situations/applications? What will they create? Service Learning: How will they design, plan
and implement the service?

   Step 1) Have the recruits blog their thoughts on the class blog. Encourage them to elaborate
   on their findings:

   -      For example:

   o Post pictures of the experiment

   o Discuss their hypotheses and the results.

   o Share why this experiment is important to society and what importance this knowledge
   has to the modern world.

   Step 2) Ask recruits to discuss as a group the impact of this experiment and what potential
   value the knowledge gained could have on society (i.e. Can measuring the spectrum be
   applied to a modern day application?)
Evaluate - (written in easy to follow steps): How will they demonstrate their
understanding throughout each of the above phases? How will you assess knowledge at the
end of the lesson? Service Learning: How will they know if the service had an impact on the

   Step 1) Have the recruits evaluate this experiment honestly on the class blog.

   Step 2) Encourage the recruits to discuss other experiments that could have or should be

Guiding Questions: Questions you want them to be able to answer and think about,
using the New Bloom's Taxonomy.


       1. Compare and contrast pre- experiment and post-experiment thoughts and knowledge
       2. Share what was fun about this experiment. Or not so fun.
       3. What value does this experiment have on society? Why?
       4. What next steps could this experiment take?
       5. What do you know about lasers? Outside of science fiction, do they have a practical
           purpose in our world today? Think about CD players, grocery store checkout stands,
           hair removal, etc…
       6. What other products use lasers?
       7. Why do you think white light is the presence of all colors and black the absence of all
       8. What does a prism do?
       9. How can light bend?
       10. Why do we see different colors?
       11. What do they mean when they say that an object absorbs colors?
       12. What is so special about black?


       1. Ask the recruits to look through the bubbles. “Are the bubbles completely clear or
          can you see any colors present in the bubble?” (They should see many different
          colors from the spectrum).
       2. Point out that the soap bubble solution is clear, but the bubble contains many
          different colors. “Where do you think the different colors are coming from?”
       3. “If everything in the classroom was painted white, and you were all wearing white
          clothes, do you still think we would see colors in the bubbles?”
       4. Where did the colors come from when the white light was passed through the prism?
       5. Compare and Contrast the bubble to the prism. Look at the results of light passing
          through both and discuss.
       6. Discuss why and how the prism breaks the colors into the spectrum.


       1. Predict what will happen when you place a colored filter in front of a beam of white
       2. What happens when you put a red filter in the path of the light?
       3. What happens when you put a blue filter in the path of the light?
       4. What happens when you put a green filter in the path of the light?
       5. Why do you think the results happen when you use a colored filter?
       6. How is this knowledge useful to our daily lives?
       7. Based on the results of your experimentation, how do you think a filter works?
          (Sample Answer: A colored filter blocks/absorbs all colors of light except light that is
          the same color as the filter. Light that is the same color as the filter is allowed to pass
          through the filter and is projected onto the viewing paper. Without the use of a
          colored filter the entire spectrum is visible on the viewing sheet. If a red filter is
          placed in the path of the slit of “white” light, all of the colored bands on the viewing
          paper disappear, except for the red portion of the line. A similar situation occurs
          when a blue filter is used, only the blue line remains on the viewing paper.)
       8. What do you think would happen if you placed both a red and a blue filter in the path
          of the white light? (Sample Answer: If both filters were placed in the path of the
          light the red filter would filter out/absorb all of the other colors but red. Red light
          cannot pass through a blue filter, so the remaining light after passing through the red
          filter would not make it past the blue filter. Therefore, all of the colors on the white
          viewing paper would disappear).


       1. Compare and contrast pre- experiment and post-experiment thoughts and knowledge
       2. Share what was fun about this experiment? Or not so fun?
       3. What value does this experiment have on society? Why?
       4. What next steps could this experiment take?


       1. What other experiments could have been undertaken to demonstrate the scientific
          discovery process?
       2. How will you use this knowledge in the future or will you or should you?

  4) Closing/Reflection

Closing Activity & Participant Reflection: This should be a focused activity where
students/parents/families reflect on their learning. It can include such strategies as
Accountable Talk, 3-2-1 (3 things you liked, 2 things you learned, and 1 comment or question
you have), or another type of strategy that brings forward their opinions and ideas about what
they learned and how to enhance the lesson.

   Ask the recruits to do a pre-knowledge and post-knowledge evaluation. Basically, fold a
   sheet of paper in two. On one side label pre-experiment, on the other side label post-
   experiment. Fill in both sides with data. If the recruits want, the closing activity can be
   reflected in their blog posts.

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