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How do you LIGHT Up

your world ?
Part I-Virginia SOL 5.3
Examining Light 2004
with Hands-On Activities
Compiled by, Marjorie Anne Wallace
Elementary Science Resource Teacher
2002-2005 / NNPS & NSF Coop Agreement
Welcome to a power point
presentation on LIGHT.

• We will investigate the following:

• 1. What is light?
• 2.What are some sources of light around us?
• 3. What are opaque, transparent, & translucent
• 4. What is a light wave?
• 5.Are there any hands-on/minds-on activities I can
do to learn more?
LIGHT Standards
• National Science • Virginia Standards of
Education Standards Learning 5.3 a-e:
• Physical Science: • The student will
Content Standard B investigate and
• As a result of the understand basic
activities in grades characteristics of
K-4, all students should visible light and how
develop an it behaves. (*Key
understanding of light, concepts, 5.3a-e, are
heat, electricity, and listed in your teacher
magnetism. curriculum guide)
• Our primary source of light is the sun.
• Light travels in straight lines at a speed of
186,000miles per second.
• *Light waves travel faster than sound waves!
• Light energy from the sun travels through
space , reaches earth, and some of it turns to
heat energy and warms the earth’s air.
• Light from the sun also travels to the cells of
green plants (producers) and is stored as
• When light reaches an object, it is absorbed,
reflected, or passes through it.
Sensing Light
• Humans have two
light detectors.
• Do you know what
they are called?
How many sources of Light
can you list and explain?
• SUN=warms air,
water, and land.
• Fire=provides heat, light,
and cooking fuel.
• Lightning=
• Firefly=
• Flashlight=
• Light bulb=
• Laser beams=
• Optical
*AIMS: Primarily Physics:
fibers= Light Sources Activity
*Traffic lights=
Can you answer these 5th grade
2003-SOL queries?
• 1. A person will see a flash of lightning before
they hear the thunder that goes with it because?

*SOL 2003 querie #14/CORE 1 Exam (5.3e)

• 2.Can you draw a long wavelength and a short
wavelength next to it? *SOL2003 queire #9/CORE 1 Exam(5.3a)

• 3.What scientific tools are used to study light?

*SOL2003/CORE 2 Exam(5.3b)

• 4. Can you contrast objects that are transparent,

translucent, and opaque? *SOL2003/CORE 2 Exam(5.3d)
“Just Passing Through:”
What happens when light strikes
glass? Or waxed paper? Or a book?
• If light travels through an
object it is =transparent
• If light is blocked by an
object and a dark
shadow is cast it is=
• If some light passes
through but not all and a
light shadow is present it

*AIMS:Primarily Physics: Just

Passing Through Activity
What happens when light
hits these objects?
• Glass of water
• School bus window
• Notebook paper
• Waxed paper
• Plastic wrap
• Tissue paper
• Cardboard
• Textbook
• Hand lens…
Transparent objects:
• The windows on a school bus,
• A clear empty glass,
• A clear window pane,
• The lenses of some eyeglasses,
• Clear plastic wrap,
• The glass on a clock,
• A hand lens,
• Colored glass…
• ALL of these are transparent.
Yes, we can see through them
because light passes through
each of them.
Translucent objects
• Thin tissue paper,
• Waxed paper,
• Tinted car windows,
• Frosted glass,
• Clouds,
• All of these materials
are translucent and
allow some light to
pass but the light
cannot be clearly
seen through.
Opaque objects:
• Heavy weight paper,
• Cardboard
• Aluminum foil,
• Mirror, bricks, buildings,
• Your eyelids and hands,
• Solid wood door,
• All of these objects are
opaque because light
cannot pass through them
at all.
• They cast a dark shadow.
Let’s find out how light travels?
• Simple Activity: 1 working flashlight
• 1. Shine a flashlight on a wall.
• 2. Does light from the flashlight reach the
wall? How do you know?
• 3. What evidence do you have showing
light travels in a straight line?
• 4.Record answers in your science journal
• 5.Move closer with the flashlight.
• Any changes? *Write a story about light.
Understanding Waves
• The traditional hands-on/minds-on activities:
• 1. “slinky lab: A Wave Simulation!” as well as
• 2. “Waves in Action” (visual learner), and
• 3. “Act It Out!Waves Tall and Small” (kinesthetic
learner) activities will help children understand
waves better. *Science Museum of Virginia: Light & Sound

• *Unitedstreaming movies:”Out of Darkness: An

Introduction to Light: Facts About Light.”(auditory
& visual learners). *Check with your building technology dept for
your schools password.
What is light really?
Electromagnetic radiation waves
• Light waves are three
dimensional. wavelength

• Light waves vibrate in all

planes around a center
• The waves have high
points called “crests.”
• Waves also have low
points called “troughs.”
• *The distance from one
crest to the next crest is
called a “wavelength.”
• *The number of waves
passing a given point in
one second is called the *A Science Museum of VA:
Light Science Activity
Notice the wavelength is long(Radio waves) and gets shorter (Gamma Rays)
*Science Museum of VA
A wave simulation: A Wave Simulation
Activity/Demo OR
GEMS:”Invisible Universe”
Comparing Wave Makers

• Materials: 1 long spring or rope

• 1. Teacher and a strong student will hold either
end of the coiled spring tightly braced against
their body.
• 2.Teacher will walk away from the student until
the spring is loosely stretched between them.
• 3.Gently snap the spring up and down once to
send a wave of energy to the student’s hand. It
will bounce back, or reflect, from the stationary
• 4. Point out each wave has a crest (high half) and
a trough (low half). Check for understanding
*Electromagnetic Radiation
• Electromagnetic radiation can be described as
a stream of photons. Each photon traveling in a
wave-like pattern, moving at the speed of light
and carrying some amount of energy.
• The only difference amongst radio waves,
visible light, and gamma-rays is the amount of
energy of the photons. Radio waves have
photons with low energies. Microwaves have a
little more energy than radio waves. Gamma
-rays and cosmic rays have highest energy
waves and are the deadliest.
*Page info from NSTA Conference 2004
Don’t’ forget…longest waves (radio) shortest waves (cosmic)

*Page info from NSAT Conference 2004

1.Acting It Out! Waves Tall & Small
Activity(The electromagnetic family)
+2.Scaling the Spectrum Activity
• Materials:
• 1. 9 volunteers
• 2. paper & pencil.

• These 2 activities help to

explain the
electromagnetic spectrum
and dispel some of the
*Science Museum of Virginia
common misconceptions. Acting It Out! Activity +
Scaling the Spectrum Activity OR
GEMS: Invisible Universe
Comparing Wave Makers I.
Power point II covers the
electromagnetic spectrum!