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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Hot and Cold Colors

Lesson Description:
Students will be able to…
  • Explain the relationship between color and solar energy absorption and identify ways to use color to harness or repel the sun’s energy
  • Collect, organize and record data
  • Construct a graph organizer (e.g., tables, bar graphs, pictographs, line graphs, line plots) to compare multiple sets of data

Please use the PDF below to supplement this lesson:
Lesson Type:
  • Experiment
  • Group Work

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
30-40 minutes
Standards Addressed:
Science Standard 9: Understand the sources and properties of energy
  • Benchmark # 1: Know that heat is often produced as a byproduct when one form of energy is converted to another form.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that light can be reflected, refracted or absorbed

Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry
  • Benchmark # 3: Plan and conduct simple investigations
  • Benchmark # 4: Use appropriate tools and simple equipment (e.g., thermometer) to gather scientific data and extend the senses
  • Benchmark # 5: Know that scientists’ explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations

Technology Standard 6: Understand the nature and uses of different forms of technology
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that different types of energy (solar, fossil fuels) have different advantages and disadvantages (e.g., solar energy is a cleaner source of energy than fossil fuels, but currently is more expensive)

Materials Needed:
  • Thermometer
  • Empty soup cans
  • Poster paints of various colors (including black and white)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clock

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf HotandColdcolors.pdf
Located in: Language Arts

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