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Collection of Lesson Plan

Rainbows

Subject taught
- Physics

Language Skills Developed
- Interaction
- Listening
- Reading
- Speaking
- Writing

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
To observe, to compare and to make assumption or theories about the rainbow phenomenon.

Description
• The general aims are to develop the observation skills and the ability to make connections and suppositions. To be able to be engaged in team work. To recognise other similar phenomena and to explain them.
• The linguistic aims are to teach students a correct scientific language and to give them the necessary instruments to be able to read and study a scientific article.
• The specific aims are to stimulate the curiosity of the students in order to introduce: the two laws of physics: refraction and reflection of light, the composition of the solar light as a sum of electromagnetic waves with different frequencies, the light as a minimal part of electromagnetic waves: from radio waves to gamma rays.
• The target group age is 16 /18
• The level of competence in English is B1/B2.
• The time required to use the resource with the students is about two/three hours: 30 minutes for Phase 1, 1 hour for Phase 2 and 30 minutes for Phase 3. 1 hour for homework (Phase 4). 1 hour for Phase 5, the experiment. 1 hour for Phase 6
• Different phases to complete the lesson plan
Phase 1: The rainbow: a natural phenomenon (slides) These slides may be used as an introduction in a lesson about the light. Starting with the observation of fine images is a good way to catch the attention of the students. At first the students must only listen and watch the slides. Then the teacher will ask questions to understand if the students have seen any analogy in the pictures they have watched.
The teacher must help the students to focus on these analogies and he must lead them to formulate the same theories about this phenomenon. At the end of the lesson the teacher will sum up the essential characteristics why the rainbow can appear in the sky: the position of the observer, the position of the sun , the presence of water.
Phase 2: The science of rainbows (video)
This video is a simple and amusing way to explain the rainbow phenomenon as an application of physical laws.
If the teacher has previously had some lessons about the waves (elastic waves) and he has already explained the characteristics: period, wavelength, frequency, speed, and so on, he can use this video to introduce the light as a particular wave ( sum of electromagnetic waves) and see that this wave acts like the other waves. It is easier to explain the refraction and reflexion laws using the light because students can see and verify these easily. The teacher can explain the two laws and then make a connection with elastic waves .
Phase 3: How rainbows form (video)
The teacher must ask questions to the students about the parts of the video which are less complete ( for example : why is the form of the rainbow an arc?) and he must stimulate them to ask other questions. Then he must lead them to the explanation, including research on line. He must complete the video with clarifications and in depth information . He can also tell the history of the rainbow starting from Alessandro di Afrodisia, Aristotele, Cartesio to nowadays
Phase 4: homework. The students watch the videos Tricks of the Light 1 : Rainbows and Tricks of the Light 2 : Mirages. The students can then look for other interesting material on the internet.
Phase 5 : How to make a rainbow: simple science experiment (online lab) After watching the on line lab, the teacher must help the students to work in groups to reproduce that phenomenon in class. Then he asks the teams to look for other on line similar resources for homework. Every group must look for a specific topic (refraction of the light in two medium or total refraction or scattering....) and they must reproduce these experiments in class.
Phase 6: Homework : Tricks of Light 1 and 2: script and glossary. The students read the script and learn the vocabulary in order to revise for the class test
• Possible difficulties for the students
Students do not usually have any difficulties because the topic is really interesting and amusing

Teaching Resources (created)

Teaching Resources (reviewed)