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What are Pigments? Video Questions Mark as Favorite (5 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. During the video, students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

Grade Level

High School and Middle School


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Describe the purpose of a pigment within a paint.
  • Differentiate between a pigment and a dye.
  • Understand the basic relationship between pigment molecules and light.
  • Describe how molecular structure is related to the color of a pigment.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Energy
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Visible Light
  • Electrons
  • Solute& Solvent
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mixtures


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 10 minutes



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

Teacher Notes

  • The video, What are Pigments? was developed as a part of the 2017 AACT-PPG, Chemistry of Color content writing team project, sponsored by PPG Industries. The entire video series can be found here.
  • Additionally, 17 lesson plans related to the Chemistry of Color theme were developed by the content writing participants. You can learn even more about this project by reading an article from the September 2017 issue of Chemistry Solutions, written by the lead teacher involved in this project.
  • The running time of this video is approximately 4 minutes.
  • This video is intended for students to watch, and for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
  • The student questions/answers are presented in sequential order in the video.
  • An answer key has also been provided for teacher reference.
  • Videos can be shown with the use of a classroom projector, or teachers can generate a Student Pass through their AACT membership to allow students to independently access the video.

For the Student



While watching the video, What are Pigments? answer the following questions:

  1. True or False? Pigments are the same as dyes.
  2. Dyes ________________ bind to what they are applied to.
  3. Pigments are ____________ ground to a fine powder and ____________ in paint.
  4. True or False? Pigments are not dissolved in paint.
  5. Which portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum can our eyes can detect?
  6. True or False? The chemical bonds in pigment atoms filters lights so we only see certain wavelengths.
  7. Pigments absorb light when the light’s energy “excites” an _______________.
  8. A conjugated system is a type of _________________, which is the part of a molecule responsible for its ____________.
  9. Axochromes are usually chosen to __________________ a molecule’s color.