Shadows and Light

"... you can't paint sunlight, you can only paint what it does with shadows on a wall. «And what if you're the wall? What if you never cast a shadow or rainbow of your own, but have only caught those cast by others?" -Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird,
1976

stardate.org

By: Richard H. Audet Roger Williams University

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Shadows and Light For the Teacher

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Lesson Overview
This is a two day lesson for grades 4-8. Students are introduced to shadows, explore how their shadow changes over the course of a day, and use their understanding of shadows to build a sundial. They are assessed by their explanation of how a sundial enables someone to tell the time of day.
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Instructional Goals
Students will develop an understanding of how shadows form, how shadows change over the course of a day, and be able to explain the principles of how a sundial operates.

www.ncf.ca

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Formative Assessment 
Students will be assessed on their ability to explain how a sundial can be used to tell the time of day.  In their explanation, students will have to properly use all of the following terms:  Shadow Gnomon Sun  Compass Light Compass

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Opening The Lesson
Tracing a Shadow
‡ Show the Groundhog Day clip. What causes the groundhog¶s shadow to appear? 2. Read Bear Shadow by Frank Asch. In this story, a bear attempts to escape a shadow that seems to be chasing him. 3. Find out what students already know about shadows. ‡ What do you know about shadows that makes the book funny? ‡ Why did Bear's shadow disappear when he hid behind a tree? ‡ Why did the shadow disappear when he buried it? ‡ What makes a sun shadow fall one direction at one time and another direction earlier or later in the day? ‡ What other questions do you have about shadows? (From:http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm?BenchmarkID=11&DocID=10) 4. What causes day and night? (The night sky is dark like a shadow because the sun¶s light is not shining on the Earth. When it¶s night time, it¶s like we¶re all in the Earth¶s shadow!) 5. Review the Tracing a Shadow Activity with students (From http://troop851.ellenbecker.net/My%20and%20my%20shadow.htm).

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Opening The Lesson

http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/04/lp330-05.shtml

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Developing The Lesson - 1
Follow Your Shadow
In this lesson, students investigate shadows and discover how the position of the sun and time of day affects a shadow. This lesson must be performed on a sunny day on a blacktop or concrete area of the playground. 1. For this activity, students work in pairs. (If there is an odd number of students, one group can have three members.) Provide each pair of students with a piece of chalk. This activity should be done at three different times throughout the day, preferably on the same day. 2. The first time, arrange students over the paved play area. Have them use chalk to sign their names on the pavement by the positions they take. Then have them mark an X next to their names, and stand on that X. Have each student mark the spot where her or his partner's shadow ends, and measure the length of the shadow from the X to the end of the shadow. Mark that length and the time of day by the end of the shadow. Also, have students note the approximate position of the sun in the sky. 3. About two hours later, repeat the activity. Have students stand on the X in the exact same position stood in when they made the previous measurement. Mark the end point of the shadow and the time of day, just as in the first step. Measure and mark the length of the second shadow. For each student, determine the difference in the lengths of the two shadows. Also, have students note the approximate position of the sun in the sky. Has the sun's position changed since the first measurements were made?

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Developing The Lesson - 2
4. Have students complete a chart showing the times, shadow lengths, and the differences among shadow lengths. Then make time for students to share the results of the experiment with their classmates. Discuss why the shadow lengths changed from one time of day to another. Do any students connect the shadow measurements to the fact that the sun's position in the sky also seemed to change throughout the day? Help students understand that the position of the sun is the determining factor in the length of the shadow. The sun's position changes throughout the day. Since their positions (when measuring their shadows) did not change, the sun's position was responsible for the differing positions and lengths of their shadows. 5. As a follow-up activity, have students predict, note, and measure the lengths and positions of the shadows of other objects on the school grounds -- for example, the school itself, the flagpole, a tree«

From: http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/04/lp330-05.shtml

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Closing The Lesson
Build Your Own Sundial
Show students a picture of a sundial. Ask them if they know what this is and how it works. Describe and name the two parts of a sundial Review the student instructions for building a sundial. Explain to students that their performance on this lesson will be based on their ability to carefully explain how a sundial works.
From: oz.irtc.org/ftp/pub/stills/1996-0630/sundial.jpg

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Sundial Templates

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Teacher Resources
Tracing a Shadow
Lamp with no shade Large sheet white paper Masking tape Glue Chair Magazines Black marker or crayon Scissors

Follow Your Shadow
Chalk Clear paved area

Animal Shadows
Copy of the Animal Shadows sheet Overhead or slide projector

Build Your Own Sundial
Scissors Compass Scotch tape Craft knife

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Enrichment Activities 
Have students complete the Animal Shadows activity.  Here are two children¶s books that could be used to supplement this lesson.

Shadows on the Moon Jolyon Byerley

Shadow Blaise Cendrars

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Standardized Test Items

Source: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDO E/Assessment/releasedtests.html

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Shadows and Light For the Student

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Tennessee Learning Goals
Earth and Space Science Content Standard: 7.0 Earth and Its Place in the Universe: The student will investigate the structure of the universe. Third Grade Benchmarks Learning Expectations 7.2 Recognize that there are predictable patterns which occur in the universe. Performance Indicator Teacher at Level 3, the student is able to  3.7.tpi.7. design an exploration for comparing the length of a shadow at different hours of the day. Fifth Grade Benchmarks Learning Expectations 7.1 Know that objects in space have identifiable characteristics, such as appearance, location, and apparent motion. 7.2 Investigate the patterns and movement of objects in space. Performance Indicator State at Level 3, the student is able to  4.7.spi.3 recognize that the length and position of a shadow is related to the location of the sun.

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Student Assessment 
You will be assessed on your ability to explain how a sundial can be used to tell the time of day.  In your explanation, you must properly use all of the following terms:  Shadow Gnomon Sun  Compass Light Compass

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Tracing a Shadow
What causes shadows? What causes day and night? You will need: Lamp with no shade Chair Large sheet white paper Magazines 1.

Masking tape Black marker or crayon Glue Scissors

2.

3.

Place a chair close to a wall with nothing hanging on it. Turn the chair sideways. Leave enough space for you to walk between the wall and the chair. 2. Have your partner sit in the chair. The lamp should be placed at the spot where you stopped. It needs to be on top of something that is as high as her head. The room should be dark except for the light from the lamp. Your partner's face and head should make a shadow on the wall. Tape the large sheet of paper to the wall where you see the shadow. Trace the outline of her face onto the paper. Cut out the face and fill it with a collage of magazine pictures that show things you like.

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Follow Your Shadow
In this lesson, you will investigate shadows and study how the position of the sun and time of day affects a shadow. 1. For this activity, you will work in pairs. All you need is a piece of chalk. 2. Sign your names on the pavement by the location you are using. - Mark an X next to your names, and stand on that X. - Mark the spot where your partner's shadow ends, and measure the length of the shadow from the X to the end of the shadow. - Mark that length and the time of day by the end of the shadow. - Make a note of the approximate position of the sun in the sky. 3. About two hours later, repeat the activity. Be sure to stand on the X in the exact same position stood in when you made the previous measurement. Mark the end point of the shadow and the time of day, as in the first step. Measure and mark the length of the second shadow. - Determine the difference in the lengths of the two shadows. - Note the approximate position of the sun in the sky. Has the sun's position changed since the first measurements were made? 4. Complete a chart showing the times, shadow lengths, and the differences among shadow lengths. Discovery Questions - Why the shadow lengths change from one time of day to another? - What caused the change in the length of your shadow? - Is there a connection between the shadow measurements and the sun's position in the sky? - How does the position of the sun affect length of the shadow? - What other objects in your school yard cast shadows? Will their shadows be affected like your¶s was? 19

Build Your Own Sundial
1. Print the sundial base and the gnomon. 2. You will need: Scissors Compass Scotch tape Craft knife 3. Place the main sheet on a hard surface and using the craft knife, cut down the line that says 'cut here' (ask an adult to help you). 4. Using the scissors, carefully cut out the template for the gnomon, the triangle shape. Once you have done that, fold it along the line. 5. Now place the gnomon inside the slit of the sundial template. You must make sure the right-angle is at the bottom of the sundial template.

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Build Your Own Sundial
6. Now using the tape, stick the bottom of the gnonom to the base of the sundial. The gnomon should stand up by itself, but you may need to secure it with some more tape at its base. 7. Find north with the compass - you'll need to slowly turn in a circle until the pointer points north. 8. Once you find north, place the sundial on a flat surface and line up the arrow on the top of the sundial so it points north. Make sure the sun is shining!

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Enrichment: Animal Shadows
You can explore the concepts of lenses, magnification, and reflection. Material 1 Copy of the Animal Shadows sheet 1 Overhead or slide projector Safety Be careful around the projectors. Do not look directly into the light! Preparation Set the projector up so that it projects onto a white wall with nothing on it. Procedure 1) Using the sheet, take turns making animal shadows. Make sure everyone gets a chance. 2) What other fun shapes can you make? Questions When there is no light, we see black. What causes these shadows? y Does a shadow really exist, or is it something our mind produces? Source: AIMS Education Foundation. c.1994

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