Wisconsin Double Rainbow (Phenomena)

Contributor
Donna Hoffman
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The photograph was taken in Sheboygan county Wisconsin, at approximately 5:45 pm on October 15th, 2017.  The photograph shown in this post shows what appears to be the left end of the rainbow touching the ground with a faint double rainbow in the background. This could be used to examine the phenomena “Do rainbows actually touch the ground, or are they an optical illusion?” Students could also investigate the phenomena of a double rainbow, which is faintly apparent this photo..  The following link lists possible driving questions around rainbows http://optics.kulgun.net/Rainbow/rainbow-faq.shtml . Here is a link that could be used to find patterns within images of rainbows, or as a supplemental resource as students investigate the image attached to this resource.   https://mymodernmet.com/gorgeous-double-rainbows-worldwide/

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both light and mechanical waves. Examples of models could include drawings, simulations, and written descriptions.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to qualitative applications pertaining to light and mechanical waves.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The image in this resource will look familiar to most students. The image does however offer multiple opportunities to investigate how a complete rainbow occurs. The image could be used as a base for students to create a two dimensional model of how rainbows form. Additionally, most rainbows that students see are in clouds, this example also allows students the chance to investigate how rainbows can look to be attached to the earth’s surface. Students could continue that investigation to determine if a rainbow could in fact come in contact with the ground, or is that a optical illusion phenomenon.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The image would make a strong anchoring phenomena for a unit focusing on MS-PS4-2. A question such as, “Can a rainbow touch the ground?” or “Is a rainbow touching the ground an optical illusion?” From the anchoring question students could develop sub-questions to investigate. Questions students develop, as well as data collected, could then be pieced toward determining if it is possible for a rainbow to actually make contact with the earth. The image also has a faint double rainbow. This second rainbow would offer another avenue of questions to be generated by the students. These questions would be added to a driving question board as they are proposed by students during class time.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Due to the fact that rainbows are caused by light passing through water droplets, it may not be possible to replicate that system. Spray bottles could be used with flashlights to produce short term rainbows. As an alternative to water a suggestion is to pass light through a prism to create a rainbow that would last. If this was done in a large enough space, students could see how the rainbow changes appearance and location as the students position changes. As students collect data in position and perspective on viewing a rainbow, they could apply that data to the photo to determine if a rainbow actually does hit the ground.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This cross-cutting concept fits well with this photo. The photo shows a large rainbow. Math concepts could be added to this phenomena by calculating the approximate size of the rainbow. If the height is not possible, the distance between the two ends would also be beneficial. When measurements have been made students could apply the mathematical data to the rainbows created in the class with prisms. Students could compare the scale of each of the prism reflections to see size relationships between the natural rainbow and the man-made spectrum. Patterns could be seen and established as this work continues.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -