Learning objects Subtractive colour: objects

TLF ID L2780

Explore how the colours in white light can be absorbed and reflected. Shine a white light through coloured filters onto a coloured object. Investigate how the filters absorb some colours and let others pass through. Use different combinations of filters to block primary colours. For example, make a tomato look black by using a cyan filter to block red light from shining onto it. This learning object is one in a series of two learning objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students identify that coloured filters selectively absorb colours.
  • Students identify that the three primary subtractive colours are magenta, cyan and yellow.
  • Students predict the result when subtractive colours are filtered onto coloured objects.
  • Students explore the range of colours produced by combining different ratios of the three primary subtractive colours.
Educational value
  • Demonstrates that the apparent colour of an object depends on its reflective or absorptive properties and the colours of light that reach it.
  • Illustrates the colours produced by subtracting different ratios of the three primary colours.
  • Includes a screen capture mechanism for comparing results of filtering colours.
  • Tests understanding of key concepts through multiple-choice questions.
Year level

5; 6

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Science inquiry skills
    • Science/Light
    • Science/Observable properties
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
    • Educational validator
    • Name: Denis Goodrum
    • Organisation: Australian National University
    • Address: Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
    • URL: http://www.anu.edu.au/
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    Access profile
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: x - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.