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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Cookies and Color

Learning Exercise: Cookies and Color

Cookies and Color
Students will practice mixing colors using food coloring and frosting. Aimed for use of discussion of wavelengths and how they determine what colors we see. Also for use in discussing primary and secondary colors.


Submitted by:
Maria Alejandra Lucero
Date Last Modified:
December 06, 2007


Wavelengths and Color: Lesson Plan
Maria Alejandra Lucero

Objective & Description:
Students will understand that white light is a mixture of the different colors of the spectrum and the colors we see are variations of that concept. The following activity is supplemental, building on the concepts of color and it’s relation to wavelength. The activity is designed for level 2 through 4 ELD students.

Standard Addressed:
6.e. Students know that white light is a mixture of many wavelengths (colors) and that retinal cells react differently to different wavelengths.

Students must have an understanding of white light, wavelength, and colors.

Time Required: 45 minutes

Sugar cookies, white frosting, food coloring, paper napkins, index cards, small paper cups, plastic utensils

For each pair of students, prepare an index card with a “recipe” of how many drops of what color each student should mix into their frosting. Scoop small amount of frosting into small cups and place one at each seat with utensils, napkins, and food coloring bottles.

Time (min)
(10) Review previous notes and lectures, covering the composition of white light, colors, and reflection and absorption.

(5) Pass out cookies and go over instructions on worksheet.

(15) Allow students to work independently.

(5) Clean up materials and throw away dirty utensils and napkins.

(10) Go over results with class. Discuss following topics:
i. Do the colors you make fit on the spectrum, or are they “in between” colors?
ii. What colors did you use to make those colors?
iii. How do you think this relates to how we see other colors, like brown?

Students requiring additional accommodations for the completion of the lesson are given written copies of the instructions in addition to oral instructions. Then instructions should be repeated before the start of the lesson and reinforced on an individual basis by the teacher.



  • Grade School
  • Middle School


Topics covered include primary and secondary colors, light and wavelengths and how they determine what colors we see.


Students must have a basic understanding of primary and secondary colors. Additionally, they must have introductory knowledge regarding light and wavelengths and how their absorption or reflection determine what colors we see.

Learning Objectives

Students will understand that combinations of the primary colors make all other colors, known as secondary colors. Students will also understand that colors we see are because of light waves that are absorbed or reflected.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Supervised
  • Supplemental Activity


Assessment will be made based on the student's ability to answer questions during the discussion at the end of the period. Their understanding will be judged on their ability to explain what waves are being absorbed or reflected into or from their cookie.