Light

Science Year 3 Light and Shadows

During this block you will create your own shadow puppet play using your expert knowledge and skills on light and shadows. You will make a theatre and puppets for the show in groups and conduct your own investigations on shadows, light and reflections.

Session 1 What is light?

Objectives

Investigate what we need in order to see objects in a dark place and discover how light travels. Design a stage for a shadow puppet theatre and discover first hand how the light we see is really made of a spectrum of colours.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Make systematic and careful observations.
  3. Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • For each group of 3: a copy of the Investigation Task Sheet
  • A colour copy on card of the Whizzer Discs per pupil
  • Several copies of the Instructions for making a Whizzer Wheel
  • 2 investigation sheets

Additional Resources

  • Strong cardboard boxes (1 between 3 pupils) prepared ahead (see Teachers’ Notes)
  • A wide selection of small classroom objects (about 6 - 12 per group), e.g. scissors, rubbers, pens, small toy figures or vehicles, stickers, crayons
  • Blobs of sticky tack & glue sticks
  • 1m of thin string per pupil
  • Plastic party bowls
  • Drinking straws
  • Washing up liquid
  • Magnifying lenses & old compact discs

Weblinks
3 Little Piggies shadow puppet show from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Discover through active investigation that without light you cannot see.
  • Learn through investigation that light travels in straight lines.
  • Actively investigate the nature of white light through a number of practical activities.

Activities

  1. Actively investigate the nature of darkness, light and sight with a torch, a cardboard box and pencil holes.
  2. Use findings to draw conclusions on how light travels and our dependence on light to see.
  3. Design a stage front for shadow puppet theatre to use in the coming sessions.
  4. Learn that white light is composed of a spectrum of coloured light through 3 different investigative tasks.

Investigation - exploring/drawing conclusions
Investigate the nature of darkness, light and sight with a torch, a cardboard box and pencil holes .

Vocabulary
Light, white light, visible light, colour, spectrum, refraction

Session 2 Reflectors and lights

Objectives

What’s it like to see in a very dark place? Go into a dark “cave” and observe which colours show up best and which do not. Shine a torch to reveal reflectors and high visibility items and discover why they gleam! Paint and decorate your shadow puppet theatre.

Science Objectives
i) Notice that light is reflected from surfaces.

ii) Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous.

Working Scientifically

  1. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.
  2. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings and labelled diagrams.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Copies of the Task Sheet and Painting Prompt Sheet

Additional Resources

  • Some large blackout curtains/a quantity of blackout material
  • Strong duct tape and scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Torches
  • Small squares of card in different colours, plus black, white, fluorescent colours and mirror card and a large number of tiny (sample) squares
  • Objects: a mirror, reflector, high visibility strip or item, black and white clothing
  • Puppet theatre boxes with stage cut away
  • Acrylic paints, brushes, paint pots
  • Sticky labels & glue sticks
  • Black marker pens

Weblinks
Clip on light sources and reflectors from www.bbc.co.uk
Clip on reflective gear for roads from www.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Know what a light source is and that the sun is a light source which is so powerful that it will damage your eyes if you look at it (even with sunglasses).
  • Predict and then investigate which colours show up best and least in the dark.
  • Investigate the effect of shining a torch on various objects including reflective materials.

Activities

  1. Recap on prior knowledge by playing an active quiz game.
  2. Predict and then investigate how well different colours and materials reflect light in a simulated dark cave.
  3. Record findings by sorting and classifying colour samples, noting observations and drawing conclusions.
  4. Paint shadow puppet theatre to make it attractive and exciting for audiences.

Investigation - predicting/exploring/classifying
Predict and then investigate how well different colours and materials reflect light in a simulated dark cave. Use results to sort and classify the samples.

Vocabulary
Light source, energy, reflector, reflect, predict, investigate, reflective materials

Session 3 Mirror, mirror!

Objectives

Investigate the strange world of mirrors. Discover what happens to writing in a mirror and how this can be used to write in secret code. Navigate a mirror maze and use mirrors to make objects multiply. Learn the secrets of mirrors and how they can help you see round corners.

Science Objectives
i) Notice that light is reflected from surfaces.

ii) Recognise that light from the sun can be dangerous and that there are ways to protect their eyes.

Working Scientifically

  1. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Copies of the Reflections sheet (1 per child)
  • Copies of the maze (task 2)
  • Teachers’ Instructions for periscope

Additional Resources

  • A number of good quality safe mirrors for investigation tasks
  • 4 thick card sheets (about A3)
  • Coloured crayons
  • A selection of objects to reflect, e.g. flowers, leaves, scissors, pens etc.
  • Plenty of A5 paper
  • Masking tape
  • A selection of reflective objects
  • A periscope (if you have one)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate how light is reflected by different surfaces, looking for similarities and differences and noting observations.
  • Investigate the nature of reflections in mirrors through a variety of practical tasks including mirror writing, navigating mirror mazes and multiple mirror reflections.

Activities

  1. Test knowledge of light and learn some new light facts by playing an active team game.
  2. Investigate the properties of mirrors and reflections by undertaking 4 different tasks.
  3. Note down observations and use scientific knowledge on light to explain findings.
  4. Discover the effect of using 2 mirrors and how this can help us see round corners using a periscope.

Investigation - exploring/drawing conclusions
Discover the properties of mirrors and reflections by undertaking different investigative tasks and use scientific knowledge on light to explain findings.

Vocabulary
Reflect, mirror, reflection, image, concave, convex m

Session 4 Shadows

Objectives

Discover how shadows are made and investigate first hand how changing the orientation of an object or the material it is made from can affect the nature and shape of the shadow. Create shadow puppets in preparation for a shadow puppet performance.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.

Working Scientifically

  1. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Non-chronological report: Write a report about all that you have discovered about shadows for BBC Bitesize.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Copies of the Task Notes (1 for adult use in tasks 1 & 2 and 1 between 2 children for task 3)

Additional Resources

  • A room with good blackout facilities
  • Several screens/sections of light coloured wall, or large sheets of white card
  • A mini whiteboard and dry wipe pen per child
  • A selection of familiar household and classroom items in a box
  • A collection of opaque, transparent and translucent objects including a pair of glasses with clear glass lenses and opaque frames
  • A bright lamp
  • An overhead projector and 5 or 6 bright torches
  • A4 sheets of black card
  • Scissors
  • White pencil crayons
  • Split pins & garden canes
  • Masking tape

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate how objects made from different materials cast shadows.
  • Understand how a shadow changes depending on the object’s orientation.

Activities

  1. Actively investigate how different objects cast shadows by playing a guessing game.
  2. Understand opaque, transparent and translucent and the shadows these objects cast.
  3. Investigate how the orientation of an object affects the shadow by making hand shadows.
  4. Create jointed shadow puppets controlled with a flexible stick connection.

Investigation - exploring
Investigate how different objects create shadows.

Vocabulary
Transparent, translucent, opaque, shadow

Session 5 Let's investigate

Objectives

Add a screen to your puppet theatre then use it to freely investigate how moving the light source changes the shadow. Conduct a fair test to find the precise relationship between the distance of the torch and the size of the shadow.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.

ii) Find patterns in the way that the size of shadows change.

Working Scientifically

  1. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  2. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language and tables.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Non-chronological report: Write a report about all that you have discovered about shadows for BBC Bitesize.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Actively investigate how shadows change as the light source is moved.
  • Take measurements and look for patterns in data to answer scientific questions.

Activities

  1. Make and attach a tissue paper screen to their puppet theatre in groups.
  2. Freely explore the effect of moving the light source on shadows in their theatre.
  3. Look for patterns and try to answer questions.
  4. Take accurate measurements of the length of shadows whilst controlling the distance of the light source.
  5. Observe a demonstration of light travelling in straight lines to help understand and explain shadow data.

Investigation - fair testing/pattern seeking
Investigate the effect of moving the light source on the size of shadows.

Vocabulary
Light source, opaque, translucent, transparent, shadow, measure

Session 6 What a performance!

Objectives

Find out how coloured acetate filters can change a beam of light or a shadow. Use this together with all your knowledge and skills on Light and Shadows to create an amazing shadow puppet performance.

Science Objectives

i) Recognise that shadows are formed when the light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations.
  2. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Instructions and explanations: Write a set of instructions for younger children explaining how to make a shadow puppet theatre and puppets.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Quiz sheet
  • Task sheet

Additional Resources

  • Shadow puppet theatres made previously
  • Shadow puppets made previously
  • A selection of A4 coloured acetate sheets cut into small rectangles
  • A number of bright torches
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • A3 white paper

Weblinks
Shadow puppets from www.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Actively investigate the use of coloured acetate filters for mixing beams of coloured light and to look through.
  • Use all previously gained knowledge and skills during this block of sessions to create a fabulous shadow puppet performance.

Activities

  1. Undertake a quiz on all learning on light and shadows covered in this block of sessions.
  2. Investigate mixing beams of coloured light by covering torches with different coloured acetate.
  3. Investigate looking through different colours of acetate to filter different coloured light.
  4. Work on producing their own shadow puppet play with puppets they have made.

Investigation - exploring
Investigate how coloured light beams mix and what it's like to look through different coloured filters.

Vocabulary
Recapping on all the vocabulary learnt during this block