Ray Diagrams
Light Sound and Waves

Thinking about actions to take: Modelling Light with Ray Diagrams

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • explicitly separating beams and rays
  • being explicit about the modelling process
  • exemplifying the construction of ray diagrams
  • using the ray model to make predictions
  • explicitly choosing rays to draw

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.

Avoid these

  • conflating rays and beams
  • conflating the lived-in world with the theoretical world of physics
  • sketching ray diagrams

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

Waves CPD videos

Our new set of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more