Junior Science: Chromatography and Splitting colours.

This is the splitting colours activity. The full pack with games instructions and worksheet is able to be downloaded here. However, If you are on your phone or tablet the method and photo examples (you may notice my skills in photography are somewhat lacking!) are on this page so you can check it out before you download it.

Kids of all ages love this activity so make sure you have lots of filter paper to hand. They will want more!! ( I made a quick video to show what happens)

Colour Chromatography Instructions

Equipment ( things you need)

  • Plastic cup of water
  • Filter paper
  • Pencil
  • Colour Felt tip pens
  • Paper towels
  • Ruler
  • Straws / chopsticks
  • paper clip

What to do

  1. Cut out a long piece of filter paper – so that it is about as tall as the cup

2. Using a PENCIL, draw a line 2cm from the top and 1cm from the bottom. So it looks like this

3. Draw a dot or square of three colours using your felt tip pen like the picture below, but with three colours! Try to make one or two dark colours!

4. Look at the picture; we have a stick on the cup and the paper over the stick. The paper is just in the water at the bottom. We can use the clip or tape to keep it there.

5. Wait for the water to reach the top line and then take the paper out of the water and the cup put it on some paper towels or toilet paper!

6. Now can you see how many colours are on the paper and how many colours in the felt pen you used!

A speeded up example.
Free Full Pack

If you have downloaded it you can look at your worksheet below and see if you can complete it.

Stick your filter paper on your worksheet (when it is dry!!)

In the worksheet is also has a group work task and matching exercises. Which ask students to go and see the other colours people used and record what colours make that colour.

Some example questions you could ask.

  • What happened to your colours when they went up the paper?
  • What colours can you see now in each colour?
  • Which colour has the most colours in it?

I think these Felt pens are better than the ones i use. I have them on order, when i watched the butterfly colours video they spread the colours a little better. If you have these or have used these let me know in the comments below.

The full pack is able to be downloaded from this page. Just let me know what you think of it once you tried it 🙂

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