"Mirror, Mirror…” 5.1 4 Created by Doug Spicher
Elkridge Landing Middle School
Elkridge, Maryland

This lesson is designed for grade 8 and should take 1-45 minute period.




Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…


At one time or another, all of us have seen our reflection. Our reflection’s appearance will depend upon the mirror that we are using. A flat mirror will reproduce our image. A curved mirror will change the image that we see. When the surface mirror is flat, the reflection is called specular reflection. This is because the reflected image goes off in only one direction. If the reflected image goes off in many directions at once, that is diffuse reflection. Today, you will see both types.


Part I

  1. Crumple the foil and then uncrumple it.

  2. Spread it out flat on the lab table.

  3. Lay the mirror next to the foil piece. Hold the paper above the reflective surface

  4. Shine the laser on both the mirror and the foil.

  5. Note and record the difference in the reflection.


  1. How did the beam from the mirror look?

  2. How did the beam from the foil look?


  1. Which surface showed which type of reflection?

  2. Which reflection type is shown by a bedroom or bathroom mirror?

Part II

  1. Stand or lean the mirror so that it is perpendicular to the surface of the table.

  2. Use the mirror to write your full first name and full last name on the paper so that it appears right-side-up in the mirror.


  1. Was this hard to do? Explain.

  2. Which letter(s) seemed harder than others?

  3. What does a mirror do to images that it reflects?

  4. Would this activity have worked with diffuse reflection? Explain.

Part III

In the space below, write the alphabet so that their reflection is in the right order and properly written.


  1. Which, if any letters look the same forward AND backward?

Mirror, Mirror…” 5.1 4 Created by Doug Spicher©