Some students consider darkness as important a concept as light e.g. shadows can exist on their own.
Children may devise their own theories related to this; to make sense of why you only see shadows in the light e.g. shadows hide inside objects, until light pushes it away from the object on to the wall or ground.
Resources to Address This
Introducing light sources and shadows (5-11)
Ref - SPT HS01 TA08
This activity focuses on the idea that light travels in straight lines and this behaviour causes shadows.View Resource
Teaching story - campsite shadows (11-14)
Ref- SPT Li01 TL04
Using a personal story to talk about shadows and their formation.View Resource
Shadows and rays on a screen (11-16)
Ref - Practical Physics; Light & Optics; Intro to rays and images
Shadows form on a screen when objects interrupt the light from a lamp. Show that the shadow changes as the distances between lamp, object and screen change.View Resource
- Galili, I. and Hazan, A. () Learners' knowledge in optics: interpretation,structure and analysis. International Journal of Science Education, ISSN: 0950-0693 (Print) 1464-528.
- Feher, E. and Rice, K. Shadows and Anti-Images: Children’s Conceptions of Light and Vision II. Science Education, 72 (5),
- Ramadas, J. and Driver, R. () Aspects of secondary students' ideas about light, University of Leeds Centre for Studies in Science & Mathematics Education.