Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Light topic on BrainPOP Jr.

Shadow Shapes
Ask your students to work in pairs, and have them collect small objects around the classroom. Then give each pair a flashlight and turn off the lights in the classroom. Have one student place an object in front of the flashlight and have the other student guess the object that made the shadow. What clues did he or she use to find the answer? Encourage students to write their thoughts and ideas down in their notebooks. Then have pairs experiment using the flashlight to change the shape of the shadow. How can you make the shadow bigger? How can you make the shadow smaller? Do some objects create a darker shadow, and some a lighter one? Why would that happen? Discuss results with the entire class.

Beaming Light

For this activity you will need several flashlights, tin foil, small mirrors, and a few small objects. You may want to ask students to bring a flashlight from home or ask parents to lend their flashlights to the class for a few days. Cover the front of each flashlight with tin foil and poke a small hole in the center. Then divide your class into partners or groups and give each group a full set of materials. Turn off the classroom lights and ask students to shine their lights onto the mirrors. What happens? What happens when they move their mirrors around? Then ask them to place their objects in different locations around the classroom and try to “hit” their object with their light beam. You may also want to challenge them to “hit” other items in the classroom: charts, the clock, speakers, etc. After, allow time for students discuss what they have learned about light and how it travels.

Shadow Puppets

To connect reading and writing to science, have your students make shadow puppets by cutting different shapes or animals out of black or opaque construction paper. Students can then tape or glue craft sticks or pencils to their cutouts to make puppets easier to hold. Have students write a story using their shadow puppets. Then use a flashlight or a camping lantern so students can cast their shadows to tell and act out their stories.

Filed as:  Energy, K-3, Light, Science, vision