DayGlo Fluorescent Pigments Mark as Favorite (5 Favorites)

LESSON PLAN in Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons, Bohr Model, ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program. Last updated October 13, 2023.


In this lesson, students will learn about the discovery of the DayGlo fluorescent colors, as well as related topics such as fluorescence, light, color, and energy through reading an article and engaging in related activities. The activities help promote literacy in the science classroom. Parts of this lesson could be used as plans for a substitute teacher.

Grade Level

High School

NGSS Alignment

This lesson will help prepare your students to meet the performance expectations in the following standards:

  • HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  • HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
  • Scientific and Engineering Practices:
    • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
    • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Understand the concept of fluorescence.
  • Explain how light is produced from excited electrons.
  • Differentiate among the three different types of ultraviolet rays (UV-A, UV-B, UV-C).
  • Apply the scientific method to a real-world application.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of:

  • Energy
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Fluorescence
  • Scientific method
  • Bohr Model
  • Electrons


Teacher Preparation: 10 minutes
Lesson: Approximate times for students to complete each activity in the lesson:

  • Anticipation Guide: 10 minutes
  • Reading: 20 minutes
  • Timeline: 10 minutes
  • 3-2-1-Contact Graphic Organizer: 10 minutes
  • Exploring the Scientific Method Activity: 20 minutes
  • Ground Sate vs. Excited Sate Activity: 20 minutes
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum Activity: 10 minutes
  • Writing Exercises: 20 minutes


  • Reading document and desired handouts to accompany the reading.
  • Internet (for possible research)


  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes


Lesson Overview:

The lesson includes the multiple components, as outlined individually below. The Reading is essential for all of the activities. Teachers can choose to do one or all of the included activities. Student handouts and corresponding answer keys are provided for each item described below:

  • Activity: Anticipation Guide
    • Have students identify whether they agree or disagree with the ten statements. After they complete the reading, they can adjust their answers and rephrase the “disagree” statements, so they read true.
  • Reading: DayGlo Fluorescent Pigments
  • Activity: Timeline
    • During or after the reading, rearrange the statements in chronological order.
  • Activity: 3-2-1-Contact Graphic Organizer
    • Fill out the graphic organizer using evidence from the reading. The last part is for the students to apply the information they learned in the reading.
  • Activity: Exploring the Scientific Method Activity
    • The development of DayGlo is a great example of the scientific method in action. This activity lets students use evidence from the article to show how the Switzer brothers followed the scientific method to make DayGlo what it is today.
  • Activity: Ground State vs. Excited State Activity
    • Students use Bohr models to investigate ground state and excited state of an atom, as well as the connections between wavelength, energy, and color.
  • Activity: The Electromagnetic Spectrum Activity
    • Students will examine the electromagnetic spectrum and answer related questions to better understand the differences between the three types of ultraviolet waves.
  • Activity: Writing Exercise
    • Students will respond to 2 writing prompts that are based on fluorescence and phosphorescence.