Introducing light sources and shadows
Classroom Activity for 5-11
What the Activity is for
This activity focuses on the idea that light travels in straight lines and this behaviour causes shadows.
What to Prepare
- several pieces of cardboard of different shapes
- a torch
- a screen or plain wall
What Happens During this Activity
Start with a piece of cardboard – shine a torch at the cardboard and ask the children to look what happens on the wall, and between the cardboard and the wall.
Questions to investigate:
Teacher: Does the size of the shadow depend upon where the torch shines from?
Teacher: How dark is the shadow? Is it the same darkness everywhere behind the card?
Teacher: What happens if you make a hole in the card?
A possible extension that links with the next episode is to place a stick in the ground outside. Ask children to record the length of the stick's shadow at the same time of day, on different days of the year.