Mystery of the Mirrors

Lyvonia Hearns A. Philip Randolph
7316 S. Hoyne
Chicago, Il. 60637


[Grades 1-2-3]
Students will be able to:
1. Tell what mirrors are used for.
2. Compare objects in two mirrors at right angles to each other and describe
what happened.
3. Demonstrate how a periscope is used to see around corners.

Materials Needed:

The following materials are needed for each group of 1-10 students:
3 milk cartons 1 small candle 1 quarter
2 small mirrors 2" by 3" 1 pencil duct tape 2 wood blocks
8 large mirrors 3" by 6" drawing paper primary paper crayons
1 long mirror 4 feet scissors newspaper
nametags 1 clock


Hold up a mirror. Ask "What is this?" (mirror) Ask "Where do we find mirrors?"
accept all answers. Since mirrors are found in many places, let's find out what
they are used for. We will be Mirror Detectives and solve the mystery of the
mirrors by observation and discovery.

Divide students into 4 groups. Each student will get paper and pencil and
select a partner to work with. Each group will go to one of the designated
stations and write in complete sentences what they observe or discover. Students
will move from stations when teacher rings bell. After observing all stations
students will come together to share information. All facts are written on
chalk board and each student copies for science notebook.


Station 1:

Stand up two 3x5 mirrors and tape them together so that they form a right angle
to each other. Face a clock toward the two mirrors. Read the clock. Try to
read a page of a book in the mirror. Look at yourself. Try to comb and brush
your hair.

You can read the clock and book. You look strange and can't seem to comb and
brush the side of the hair you mean to.

Place a quarter on the table between the mirrors. Then as you slowly bring
the free ends of the mirrors closer together, additional quarters come
into view. Your money seems to grow until both mirrors touch the quarter.

Station 2:

Take two 3x5 mirrors and two blocks of wood (same size) and attach the mirrors
to the wood with duct tape. Set the two mirrors facing each other about two
inches apart. Place a pencil between them. A parade of pencil images appear in
the mirror behind the pencil.

Turn the front mirror a bit. Now you see a curved parade of pencils. Change the
angle a bit more. The parade curves more sharply.

Station 3:

Make a periscope. Use a milk carton (1 quart size). Cut a hole on one side of
the carton near the top and a similar hole on the opposite side, the same
distance from the bottom. Tape two pocket mirrors (2x3) in place parallel to
one another, at a 45 degree slant.

Hold the periscope up to your eye and look through the lower hole. Now go to a
corner and hold the periscope so that one hole is sticking out. Look through
the other hole. You can see what is above you and on the opposite side of the
periscope. You can see around corners.

Station 4:

Place a long mirror (4 feet long) low enough so that three students can sit in
front of it. Students should have on name tags. Students will sketch the upper
part of body looking through mirror. Other students in this group will look
through newspaper for a word that describes how they feel about themselves
(great, happy, strong, etc.). Cut it out and paste it on the picture they
sketched. Students will see themselves as others see them and name tags will be
on opposite sides and backwards.

Expected Results:

Mirrors are used to see ourselves and to see how to do things.
To see small images of large objects.
To see behind you, around corners, and over things.
To make things look larger and to multiply images.
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