Rainbows and Solar Energy

Melanie Kirschner, Kindergarten, Albemarle Road Elementary

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


Kindergarten students love looking at rainbows, but they do not know just how important rainbows can be. This curriculum unit explores the electromagnetic spectrum in terms of something that is familiar to the students; rainbows. Students will study the order of the colors of the rainbow and be able to discuss why they are in the order they are in. Students will be completing labs, and they are allowed to work through their labs in a trial and error way, allowing them to guide their own learning. They will then connect their knowledge of rainbows and the electromagnetic spectrum to solar energy. They will complete a lab with Photovoltaic cells and experiment with different angles of light and how much electricity it produces by how fast a windmill moves when connected to the cell. Throughout the unit, the students will be recording all their thoughts and findings in a science journal.