Colour mixing and masking

Mix colours to see which colours mask others and how they combine to make new colours.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Physics: Light and Sound (1)
  • white paint or ice cube tray
  • food colouring in dropper bottles (diluted: 5 drops dye in a small food dye dropper bottle, then fill with water)

Add a drops of colours to the tray and look for new colours.

For a lesson on Fall leaf colours:
Use only yellow, red and green dyes.
Look for which colours can mask others - see attached worksheet.
The yellow is masked by both green and red.
A yellow pigment is always in green leaves, but is usually masked by the green pigment. In the fall, when the green pigment decays, the yellow is revealed, turning Fall leaves golden.
Red fall leaves also have yellow pigment. In these leaves the green pigment has decayed and new red pigment is made. The yellow is still hidden under the red, though sometimes leaves look orange when there is less red pigment and the yellow shows through a little.

Attached documents
Grades taught
Gr 1
Gr 2
Teaching site
Sexsmith Elementary