It's a Colorful Life

This unit consists of an interlinked series of 6 multi-part experiments that use readily available materials such as an inexpensive hand-held microscope, colored transparency films and color wheels, a color computer monitor, and colored, printed material (magazines, comics, cereal and cookie boxes, etc.) The purpose of this unit is to help students understand the color that they see in their everyday lives. Students will develop an understanding of how color monitors and TVs produce colors and how colors are made by printing and painting. Using a single consistent model, the correct color wheel and complementary colors are presented. Guides to using this unit at grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 are included as are the correspondence of this material to the National Science Education Standards and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

Experiments are integrated with supporting written discussions, graphical presentations of color mixing, color math (addition, subtraction and algebra), color models of increasing levels of sophistication (incorporating geometry and mathematics), color mixing charts, and computer color activities. All experiments include a teachers guide and a student worksheet for distribution. An extensive series of color references is presented. This includes books, web sites, and journal articles which discuss these and other diverse color topics (history of the color wheel, how color mixing has been utilized by artists during the different art periods, and other applications of color theory).

This unit was developed by Dr. Lawrence D. Woolf