Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Playing With Mirrors

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11

Here are a number of activities that you can try to develop children’s understanding of light, how it travels, and how it can be reflected:

Travelling Smilies

  • This activity works best in a really dark room.
  • Draw a simple image on an interactive whiteboard screen… in the past, I have used a small smiley face.
  • Put the mirror in front of the projected image and bounce it to another point in the room.
  • Tilt the mirror at different angles and watch the face ‘travel’ around the room.
  • Ask a child to try this and challenge them to reflect the face onto different parts of the classroom.
  • Then, ask a child to hold another mirror. Angle the first mirror so that the face reflects onto the second mirror.
  • How many times, using lots of different mirrors, can you bounce / reflect the face around the classroom?

What’s on top of the table?

  • Ask a child to sit carefully underneath a table at the front of the room.
  • Place an object on top of the table and ask them to identify what it is… without moving.
  • Ask them how this task could be made easier.
  • Give them a mirror and ask them to identify the object now.
  • Can they explain how they can see the object, even though they are under the table and the object is on top?

Post-It Challenge

  • Ask the children to get into pairs.
  • Tell child A to draw a simple picture on a Post-It note and stick it onto the back of their partner (B).
  • Give the pair of children some mirrors and ask child B to use the mirrors to work out what picture has been drawn.

Do you have any other good ideas involving mirrors? Leave a comment and we’ll add them to this page.

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