Rainbow in the Room

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This activity generates learner excitement about light through the creation of a room-sized rainbow. Learners also make their own "rainbow" drawings that incorporate the sequence of colors they observe. For a dramatic effect, set up rainbow projection while learners are out of the room. This activity guide includes background information and variation ideas.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 cups, 9-oz clear plastic (or clear glass jars or glasses)
  • Clear beaker, 1,000-mL size (or qt-sized glass jar or other clear container)
  • Overhead projector
  • Crayons or colored markers
  • Sheets of white paper


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
    • Light and Optics
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum
      • Sunlight and Color

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Moreno, Ph.D., Nancy P. ; Tharp, M.S., Barbara Z. ; Dresden, M.S., Judith


  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2011

Funding Sources:

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), R25 ES06932
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), R25 ES010698