What Is a Rainbow?

Black and white illustration of fox in overalls painting a rainbow


The topic for this lesson is appropriate for young campers, but the vocabulary and some of the theory presented in this Web site is a challenge to many elementary school students. Middle school campers should find this lesson challenging and fun without much additional teaching, but younger participants may need help. The sections that present the physics of rainbow formations will be challenging for even high school students. Spend time previewing the site so that you can direct your campers to sections appropriate for them.


By the time your campers have finished this lesson, they will be able to explain what a rainbow is and describe how it is formed.

Web Site

About Rainbows, by Beverly T. Lynds


Limit lecture time to allow campers time to practice, explore, and learn at their own pace. The Web site used in this activity covers a topic suitable for youngsters, but the content of the site can be complex. Allow extra time to answer questions and to work with campers one-on-one. Here is one way you can organize this lesson.

  • Present a captivating introduction to this activity. Ask, "When do rainbows usually appear?"
  • Provide an overview of today's activity.
  • Distribute the activity sheet and facilitate today's activity. Provide individual help.
  • Summarize today's lessons.