Lesson 3: Light

Getting Started

Light is one kind of radiant energy. There are forms of light that we can see and forms of light that our eyes cannot see. The light we can see is called visible light. What do you know about light? Have you ever thought about where light comes from or how it is used? In this lesson you will explore the characteristics of light.

Stuff You Need

  • a variety of objects
  • alligator clips (kit)
  • battery (kit)
  • clay (kit)
  • clear cups (kit)
  • clear glass cup
  • color wheel (kit)
  • colored pencils
  • dark cloth (kit)
  • flashlights (kit)
  • measuring spoons
  • mirror (kit)
  • motor (kit)
  • note cards (kit)
  • pencil
  • piece of cardboard (kit)
  • piece of white paper (kit)
  • piece of wood (kit)
  • red, blue, and green cellophane (kit)
  • red, blue, and yellow food coloring (kit)
  • rubber bands (kit)
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • tape
  • white paper

Ideas to Think About

  • What is the relationship between light and color?
  • What is the relationship between light and objects?

Things to Know

  • When white light is split, it makes a rainbow.
  • Light travels in waves.
  • The primary colors of light are red, green, and blue.
  • Reflection of light occurs when light bounces off a surface.
  • Absorption of light occurs when light is taken in and not reflected off a surface.
  • Refraction is the bending of light as it travels through a transparent surface.


  • Recognize that light has a source and travels in a direction. (S)
  • Observe that light can be reflected off or absorbed by different surfaces. (S)
  • Recognize the difference between colors of light and colors of pigment. (S)
  • Understand that a rainbow is white light that has been split. (S)

Introducing the Lesson

Explain to your child that over the next three days he will explore energy in the form of light. Light has many unique characteristics, and without it we would not be able to see anything at all.