Lanterns and Shadows

Wed 15 Nov 2023 | Reception

Article 28 : Every child has the right to an education.

After experiencing lighting up pumpkins for Halloween the Reception class children have been interested in finding out about different light sources and light effects. They noticed that there were lots of shadows in the outdoor play area on a sunny morning too, and were interested in finding out about how we can cast shadows using the light sources that we know. We decided to explore different ways that we can cast a shadow. The children listened to a story called Rosa’s Big Shadow Puppet Experiment by Jessica Spanyol. They learned that to cast a shadow they needed a light source such as a lamp, torch or the sun. The children explored a range of light sources to find out how to turn them on and the effects they could make when pointing them at the wall, floor and ceiling. They also discovered what would happen when directing the light through different materials. They learned that light travels in a straight line and that to cast a shadow they need to put an object in the path of the light beam. The children tried shining their torches through different materials to find out which created the best shadows. They discovered that the opaque materials did not let any light through and created the darkest shadows and the transparent materials let more light through creating lighter shadows. The children had fun creating different shadow effects using the different objects and materials. When exploring, they noticed that shadows could be made bigger and smaller by moving the light source or objects closer and further away from each other. They also experimented to create different shadow shapes by moving the position of the objects in the light path. After experimenting with the shadows, the children explored shining their light sources through different coloured materials. They were excited to learn that colours can project onto a wall through a transparent material but not through an opaque material. Look at how much fun we had!