The image is of 3 waves of varying wavelength.

Teaching Color Using Wavelength

This activity uses a science-based approach to teach color description to students who are blind or visually impaired.

As a science teacher at a school for the blind, I have often been asked how colors can be effectively described to students with visual impairment.  We often use descriptive words with colors such as “fiery red” or ” deep purple”.  These descriptions mean very little to students who have not experienced colors.  A more concrete science-based explanation of why there are various colors is the basis of this activity. It will be most appropriate for students who already understand the structure of a wave or in conjunction with instruction on waves. This hands-on activity provides students with a more concrete understanding of how color varies based on difference in wavelength. 

Science concepts related to waves and wave structure may need to be reviewed in order for students to fully comprehend this activity.



Related Vocabulary:


Warm up


Color Wavelength in Nanometers



NGSS Standards

Middle School – Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation
PS4.A: Wave Properties

High School: Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation

PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation

PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation

Many thanks to my daughter, Hannah Hospitál, for this excellent idea.

By Laura Hospitál

Collage of teaching color using wavelength

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