Lights, Color, Action

Teresa Strohl, Science, Barringer Academic Center

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


My fourth grade students will recognize how light travels and when it strikes another medium it is refracted, reflected, and absorbed. Students will apply skills and concepts needed in other disciplines such as a Science to become an informed creative artist. Students will look at the differences of mixing primary colors, mixing filtered colored lights, and of how colors can be layered. My students will learn the science behind light and color while experimenting with glass prisms and dichroic glass cubes. Showing my fourth graders how white  light separates into the color spectrum when hitting a glass object will fascinate them making them more curious.

There are two different but similar sculptors within this unit Soo Sunny Park and Jack Storms. Soo Sunny Park refers to herself as a Kinetic Grid Artist she creates twisted chain link fence designs using colored plastic squares then placing it in an empty space to see how the light reflects and absorbs on the walls. Jack Storms is a cold press sculptor who layers glass with metal oxides to create reflections of different colors when moved. Both artists use reflection of light and color in their work. My students will create their own color wheels, kaleidoscopes and layer paint using a liquid pour technique. The large culminating project will be weaving colored plastic strips through the chain link fence that divides our playgrounds. This will be similar to Soo Sunny Park’s grid installations.

After studying all of the ways color can be reflected, refracted and absorbed my students will have a better understanding of color at the same time looking at two contemporary modern artists.