Reflection: Refraction and Rainbows - Section 2: Explore, Explain, and Elaborate


This hands on lesson was a great way to connect something that students have seen for years (rainbows and refraction) to specific science vocabulary and content.  While the concept of how rainbows are formed is still somewhat abstract to fourth graders, being able to let students experience refraction in a hands on way really helped students make sense of the science behind rainbows.  I definitely still have some students that are struggling to make sense of light waves in general thus making the concept of refraction even more difficult.  

You can see in this photograph that students are getting better at writing in their science notebooks.  This struggling student has written in complete sentences and has also included a sketch. 


You can see another example here in which a student notices that the pencil seems to get bigger or larger. 


  Seeing is Believing
  Seeing is Believing
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Refraction and Rainbows

Unit 3: Waves
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: SWBAT explain the similarities and differences between refraction, reflection and diffraction.

Big Idea: In this hands on lesson, students work to discover how rainbows are made, discover what happens to the way a pencil looks when half of it is placed in water. .

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9 teachers like this lesson
Science, Waves, Light, refraction (Light), sound waves, light wave, reflection, beaker, rainbows, weater
  75 minutes
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