Upper Key Stage 2
Link to the National Curriculum
Sc4 Physical Processes (light) Yr 3 Non statutory guidance
- “Pupils explore what happens when light reflects off a mirror or other reflective surfaces, including mirror games to help them answer questions about how light behaves”
Sc4. Physical Processes (Light) Yr 6
- “Design and make a periscope using the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain how it works”. NC notes and guidance (non statutory)
- To enable children to understand that there are useful practical applications to be made from the phenomenon that light travels in straight lines
- To enable children to understand that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection when light hits flat smooth shiny surfaces.
What you need
- Shoe box,
- two plastic mirrors,
- rulers/ pencils
- craft knife*
*Adults only to use craft knives
What you do
- See the video clip on the website: www.practicalprimaryscience.co.uk
- Lay the shoe box, without its lid , on its side and then mark a point at the same distance up the side. Draw a line from this point to create a right angled triangle with two 45 degree angles for the adjacent sides of the triangle
- Also do the same for the other ends of the box.
- A craft knife should be used to cut four diagonal lines(adults only) See video clip
- Mark out and cut two viewing holes; one in the lid and one in the box. See video clip
Group /Class organisation
- Depending on the number of adult helpers and apparatus available will determine how many groups of three / four children will take part in this practical activity.
- If limited help is available then other children not involved directly in the practical activity should be engaged in associated work with the topic e.g. how the periscope saved my life…..
- Children should also be given individual observation sheets to complete to consolidate their understanding of light and reflection from smooth shiny surfaces.
How it works
- The periscope works on the principle that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection when light hits a smooth flat shiny surface
- This would take the form of class or group discussion to consolidate their understanding of Light in relation to angles of incidence and reflection.
- Physical Education Lessons provide an ideal opportunity to understand how light is reflected using a ball kicked or thrown at a wall and it will be observed that the angle at which the ball hits the wall will be the same that it rebounds off the wall.
Follow up work
- Design Technology: Challenge the children to construct the longest periscope and to discuss the potential problems that might occur from this exercise.
- History: This work also allows for cross curricular links to historical topics such as the Second World War.