Filters (K-5)

Diversity Beans - Filters Lesson Plan (K-5) 

Objective: Use colors and filters to study the concept of diversity.

Materials Required: Approx. 1.5 oz of Diversity Beans per student. A prism, a light source and plastic filter sheets.


A. Discuss the primary colors and the ability to produce all other colors (except black) from combinations of the primary colors. Have the class try to list the combinations, such as red and yellow make orange, red and blue make purple, blue and yellow make green, etc. Discuss secondary colors.

B. Discuss the concept of the colors white and black. Explain that black is the absence of color/light (thus a black hole) and that white is all the colors combined.

C. Use a prism to break a beam of light into the light spectrum. Ask the students if they can give any other examples of prisms and the light spectrum. (If they do not come up with rainbows, ask the students about rainbows).

D. Introduce the plastic filter sheets and ask the class to discuss what will happen when the sheets are used. Have the students look at a light source using various colors of filters.

E. Ask the class what will happen when combinations of filters are used. Use various combinations of filters with a light source to obtain results. Discuss the results with the class.

F. Discuss with the class the fact that filters exist in nature. Ask the class why the sky is blue? Lead a discussion on the filtering effect of the sky.

G. Lead a discussion on how filters change our perception of what we see. A yellow filter will make light appear yellow, but also changes the color of all the other objects. A blue object would appear to be green, etc.

H. Pass out the Diversity Beans and have the class list the colors and match up the flavors.

I. Divide the beans into piles by color.

J. Have the class observe the beans through the plastic filter sheets and record the results.

K. Have the class select and taste various beans. Record the flavors tasted with the colors.

L. Discuss why the Diversity Beans don't taste as expected. Explain that one possible reason is that personal filters are creating expectations based on color/appearance.

M. Discuss the fact that we all observe the world through our own set of internal filters. Explain that our prejudices act as filters whenever we encounter others. Ask the class how these filters might work.

N. Lead a discussion on how stereotypes and prejudices act as filters in our daily interactions with others. Discuss the fact that diversity means that we recognize our filters and try to compensate for them. Explain that in a perfect world, we would eliminate the filters, but that we live in the real world. Discuss that diversity means we examine the filters within us and try to avoid judging others based on our filtered views. Our filters create a false appearance of others and make us prejudge incorrectly. Diversity means that we look beyond our filters, past appearances and judge others based on actions, attitudes, and behaviors.