Rainbows Day 5: What Makes a Rainbow

Today we talked about the science behind rainbows.  We learned that all a rainbow needs is light and water so we went outside to try to create some or our own rainbows.  Today we included more rainbow crafts, science, math, literature, and snacks.

What Makes a Rainbow

Discuss:

A rainbow needs light and water for us to see it. Show a simple demonstration of how we bend light by using a straight straw and a clear cup that is half filled with water. Even though the straw is straight, it looks bent when we put it into the water. That is just the light bending. When we bend light, it is called “refraction.” Let’s bend some more light.  Show the kids a prism, go outside and used a prism to create a rainbow on a piece of white paper. Why do we see rainbows when it rains? The raindrops are like a tiny prism, bending the light that comes from the sun. So we need both sun (light) and rain (prism) at the same time to make a rainbow in the sky. Let’s do a simple demonstration to see how the sun and water make a rainbow.  We’ll use the hose in the backyard to make a rainbow.  Make sure the sun is behind us and the water is in front of us.IMG_0717

Read: What Is a Rainbow? By Chris Arvetis and Carole Palmer

Comprehension Questions:
  1. What makes a rainbow? Light and water

Fruit Loop Bagel Breakfast

Materials:

  • Plain Bagels
  • Cream Cheese
  • Fruit Loops
Directions:
      1. Spread cream cheese on the bagel.

Place the fruit loops in the shape of a rainbow.

IMG_0683

Tissue Paper Rainbow

Materials:

  • colors of tissue papers
  • pencil with a full eraser
  • school glue
  • white cardstock with an outline of a rainbow on it
  • markers or crayons
Directions:
  1. Have the children use the markers or crayons to color in the colors they want their rainbow to look like.
  2. Cut the tissue into 1 inch squares.
  3. Pour some glue onto a tray or plate.
  4. Have your child take one piece of tissue, and show them how to center the eraser onto it.
  5. Wrap the tissue up around the pencil.IMG_0672
  6. Dip into the glue.IMG_0674
  7. Hold onto the edges of the tissue, and press the glue tipped end onto the paper, matching up the color from your picture. Slide the pencil out.IMG_0675

Rainbow in a Box

Discuss: Like water drops in falling rain, the CD separates white light into all the colors that make up the rainbow. The colors you see reflecting from a CD are interference colors, like the shifting colors you see on a soap bubble or an oil spill. You can think of light as as being made up of waves-like the waves in the ocean. When light waves reflect off the ridges on your CD, they overlap and interfere with each other. Sometimes the waves add together to make a rainbow.

Materials:
  • CD
  • Box
  • Flashlight
Directions:
  1. Shine a flashlight on an old CD in the bottom of a box turned on it’s side.
  2. Turn off the lights, and move the flashlight across the CD to make the rainbows dance.IMG_0695
Rainbow Addition
Materials:
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Construction paper
Directions:
  1. Draw an outline of a rainbow on the paper.
  2. Write addition combinations on the blank rainbow. (make sure they are spaced out quite a bit)
  3. Cut the construction paper into rectangles small enough to cover one of the combinations.
  4. Write the answers to the top row of combinations on the red rectangles.
  5. Next row answers are on the orange rectangles. And so on.
  6. Child will look at the combination and find the answer in the colored pieces and place it over the combination. At the end there should be a completed colored rainbow.IMG_0711 IMG_0713
I modified the one for A. to counting dots on the white paper and finding the correct number on the colored pieces.Rainbow Study (32)_edited-1 IMG_0714
And I modified the tots to matching colors.IMG_0712 IMG_0710

Eat the Rainbow

Discuss:

Talk about what different colors of the rainbow that we can eat to be healthy. Fruits and Vegies Then make a chart with the kids that have all of the foods that they suggested written on it.IMG_0734

Materials:

  • Posterboard
  • Markers of crayons
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Blueberries
  • Red Grapes
  • Kabob Skewers
Directions:
  1. Make a rainbow on a plate or platter with different fruits.RED – Strawberries
    ORANGE– Cantaloupe
    YELLOW– Banana
    GREEN– Pear
    BLUE– Blueberries
    VIOLET– Red grapesIMG_0727
  2. Let the children use the kabob sticks to make their rainbow fruit kabobs.IMG_0729 IMG_0733 IMG_0731

Read: I can eat a Rainbow by Annabel Karmel while they eat

Make a REAL Rainbow

Read:A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

Discuss:Rainbows appear wherever sunlight falls on water or glass.  We used the Rainbow Diagram here to help us with this experiment.

Materials:

  • Glass of water
  • Dark kitchen
  • White Paper
  • Masking Tape
  • Flashlight
Directions:
  1. Fill a glass of water (almost to the top) and place it at the very edge of the counter in a VERY dark kitchen or bathroom.
  2. Place a sheet of plain white paper on the floor a few inches away from the counter.
  3. Put two pieces of masking tape over the front of a flashlight so that the light comes out of a slit about 1/8 inch wide.
  4. Shine this light across and down into the water as shown in the figure. When a narrow beam of light is passed through a glass of water, a spectrum can be seen on a white sheet of paper.
  5. Can you see a small rainbow on the white paper? If not, move the flashlight around a little until you achieve the best results.

Rainbow Symmetry

Read:  What is Symmetry in Nature? by Bobbie Kalman

Discuss:A line of symmetry divides a shape into two identical parts. In some cases, as with a rainbow, you’ll find one line of symmetry down the middle. In other cases, there is more than one, like with eight sections of an orange. So if we paint a rainbow on one side of the paper and then fold it in half it should appear the same on both sides forming a symmetrical rainbow.

Materials:

  • Cardstock folded in half
  • Paint for all the colors of the rainbow
Directions:
  1. Fold the paper in half and open.IMG_0697
  2. Have the kids how to paint half a rainbow on one half of the paper in the right order. IMG_0700
  3. Fold the paper over and press gently.
  4. Open again to see your rainbow print.IMG_0701

Rainbow Celebration Cake

Cake Materials:

  • White cake (2 boxes)
  • 9 in. cake pan
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring.
Cake Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9” cake pans. Make the 2 cakes according to the directions.
  2. Divide the batter into 6 bowls (about 1 1/2 cups each.)
  3. Then whisk 2 drops of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Pour into the pans and bake for 12 minutes each.
  4. When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.
Frosting Materials:
  • 2 Cups shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 lbs. Powdered sugar
Frosting Directions:
  1. In large bowl, cream shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add water and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  2. This icing can be stored 2 weeks. rewhip before using.IMG_0679 IMG_0680  I added sugar sprinkles in the shape of a rainbow to it.IMG_0753 IMG_0756

Rainbow Unit Study

Day 1: Colors of the Rainbow

Day 2: God’s Promise

Day 3: The Color Wheel

Day 4: Double Rainbows

Day 5: What Makes a Rainbow?