An Awareness Of Light Made Simply Fun

Marian Hunter Morrill Elementary School
6011 South Rockwell Avenue
Chicago IL 60629
(312) 535-9288

Objectives: 1. To remediate sensory-motor deficits in Learning Disabilities students through scientific activities that study light. 2. As a result of these scientific observations the students will: -observe basic properties of light reflection and refraction. -relate reflection and refraction to daily life. -know that the angle which light hits a smooth surface is the same as the angle reflected. -make a visual graph (outline, graph, diagram, or flow-chart), and write a simple sentence interpreting the data. -explain in own words by whole language methods what concepts are in operation. Materials: Group:
Darkened room, for sensory exploration of found objects (have sufficient
materials a handful for each student), flashlights, two 12" x 12"
mirrors, one 12" x 12" plexiglass, one 12" x 12" mirror "book" (that can
be opened and closed) one 3-cornered 12" x 12" mirror, four 2" x 2" x 4"
grooved blocks (for ends to hold mirror and plexiglass squares), one 12" x
12" squared hard-board (with opening at bottom for hand and arm), sheet of
8" x 11" white paper, 2 simple-lined drawings (a star and a small cat
face), pencils, a wide-mouthed glass jar or cup of water, a penny, a walk-
in 4' x 4' triangular tripod kaleidoscope covered inside with mylar or
mirror and raised 3' above the floor, a few 4" squares of aluminum foil,
an overhead projector.
For kaleidoscope-3 3" microscope slides, 3 3" squares of mylar, duct tape
in different colors.

Strategies: In a darkened room:
1. We need light to see.
Given a handful of small objects in a bag, student will identify what he
has, using cognitive processes - sensation, perception, thinking, reasoning, or

2. Hand-shadows.
Using light from an overhead projector, make hand-shadows.

3. Dust helps us see light beams.
A flashlight beam is directed at a mirror square on the floor. Make chalk
dust and sprinkle near the beam. Dust bounces from the beam to the ceiling
where the mirror reflects. Various angles can be used and observed.

4. A Light Trick.
A 4" square of mylar is attached to a wall. A bright light is projected on
the mylar from above. The mylar now appears as a dark spot. Student stoops
and rises from the floor until s/he sees the angle at which the light is
reflected. Changing the height of the mylar gives more fun.

5. Tinkerbell.
A penlight laser beam can be used with #4 and #5. Try it in the dark.

Lights On:
1. Seeing Me.
Walk under the kaleidoscope, see oneself, make gestures, count images,
differentiate between your left and right images.

2. A Little Kaleidoscope.
Make a 3" kaleidoscope from the lengths of 3 microscopic slides forming a
triangle with the long sides, wrapping 3" sheet of mylar around it, and covering
with a choice of colored duct tape.

3. We Can't Be Smooth Again.
A smooth piece of aluminum foil is observed before and after it is crumpled.

4. Is The Pencil Broken?
A pencil appears to bend in a glass of water.

5. Is The Penny Gone?
A penny disappears in a glass of water.

6. A Pretty Sight.
Given a mirror book [two hinged plane mirrors], students will decrease the
angle from 180 degrees to 2 degrees and count the number of reflected images
that small found objects make, as the angles change.

7. Cornered Images.
Observe images in a 3 cornered mirror.

8. Make Copying Easy.
Use the plexiglass square between a line drawing of a star and a sheet of
paper. Copy the drawing by reflected light.

9. Can You Write Right?
Using a simple line drawing of a cat face between a hard-board shield and a
mirror, finger trace the cat. Looking only at the mirror for guidance, try to
write something on a sheet of paper.

10. Twinkle Twinkle Little Red Star.
Use a penlight laser in activities using mirrors.

Conclusions: Light travels in a straight line. We see objects by light reflected to our eyes. We cannot see in the dark and identify by cognitive awareness of sensation, perception, reasoning, memory, thinking processes to interpret our environment. The image of an object is seen exactly the same distance behind a plane mirror, as the object is in front of the mirror. Transparent materials bend light.
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