Constructing a spectroscope is a great way for children of any age to learn about color.
What is color? Color is a psychochemical phenomenon which involves three factors: a colored object, light and a human being with eyes and a brain. Quite complicated for something most of us take for granted!
A spectroscope uses a different grating to separate the component parts of the light into the various colors called the spectrum. This will allow the students to discover what color is.
This type of visual aid could be used in a science lesson, actually for almost any age of kids. (The lesson is ideal for 3rd-4th graders.) It is a fun, easy, and hands-on way for them to learn about color and the color spectrum.
On the following pages are the materials needed and the instructions for building and for the use of the spectroscope.Download a PDF copy of this Spectroscope Light and Color Activity
MATERIALS (FOR EACH STUDENT):
The spectroscope can be used to look at any type of light (ie: sunlight, candle, and an incandescent light bulb). Just remember, if you use sunlight, do not look directly at the sun with your box. Looking only into the sky on a sunny day will accomplish the purpose.
While looking at the different light sources, the students can draw and color pictures of what they see. When students are done, they can discuss and compare their pictures and ideas about the spectroscope and color in general.