The Association for Science Education

C4.5 Light and inclusion

Abstract

This session explores inclusive approaches to science in general, exemplified through the topic area of Light. The videoclips used demonstrate that non western scientists contributed to the expansion of knowledge in this field. A circus of practical activities are employed to demonstrate key ideas. 

Keywords: light; dark; seeing; reflection; Al hazan; inclusion; antiracism; personalising learning

Standards Addressed: Q14,Q18

Contents

1. Who are these materials for and what phase (primary or secondary)?
2. Describe content and format of materials.
3. Name of Digital Video clip
4. What are the expected learning outcomes?
5. What prior knowledge do student teachers and/or trainees need?
6. How do the learning and teaching materials assist teacher educators/student teachers and/or trainees in meeting the Standards?
7. Tutors' notes

1. Who are these materials for and what phase (primary or secondary)?

Primary trainees

2. Describe content and format of materials

Intro to inclusive approaches to science in general, exemplified through the topic area of Light
Video clip of non-western scientists' contribution to the science of seeing (Making Sense of Science)
Light elicitation activities and discussion
Circus of practical activities:

  • Transparent translucent opaque (sorting)
  • colour and seeing (filters and shoes boxes)
  • Incy Wincy Spider (shadow puppets)
  • Anna's mirror (hinged mirrors)
  • The dark, dark cave  (book and den!)
  • Periscopes and kaleidoscopes
  • Rose tinted spectacles
  • Light table (‘Reggio' style)
  • Mirrors
  • Shadow screen
  • Measuring light (dataloggers)

Light and seeing: discussion of Teachers' TV clip and children's ideas
Feedback / tutor input on conceptual issues
What is the difference between an investigation and other practical activities? Classifying circus activities as different kinds of enquiry

3. Name of Digital Video clip

http://www.teachers.tv/ or if software, publishers details.
http://www.teachers.tv/video/2486
Making Sense of Science programme 7 (SPE/Channel 4 - need to obtain permission)

4. What are the expected learning outcomes?

Expected Learning outcomes

Participants should be able to: 

  • Give some examples of how your science teaching can be inclusive by taking into account the needs, interests and backgrounds of all pupils
  • Explain how light makes objects visible to our eye.
  • Give some examples of how scientists from different cultures have contributed to our current understanding of light and seeing.
  • Know some activities designed to develop an understanding of light
  • Describe some important characteristics of light and its effects.

5. What prior knowledge do student teachers and/or trainees need?

Awareness of PoS for light at KS1 and 2.
Awareness of different types of enquiry (AKSIS)

6. How do the learning and teaching materials assist teacher educators/student teachers and/or trainees in meeting the Standards?

The materials will raise issues of inclusive approaches to science in general and will exemplify this through the topic area of Light, using video clips to explore the contribution of Arabic scientists to our understanding of light and seeing. The materials will also develop trainees' understanding of light through a series of elicitation and workshop activities undertaken hands-on and discussed using a Teachers' TV clip of KS1 children undertaking similar activities.
 
Standards addressed:
Q18 Understand how children and young people develop and that the progress and well-being of learners are affected by a range of developmental, social, religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic influences.
Q14 Have a secure knowledge and understanding of their subjects/curriculum areas and related pedagogy to enable them to teach effectively across the age and ability range for which they are trained.

7.0 Tutor Notes

7.1 Lecture outline

There is a Powerpoint presentation to support the Lecture Outline. This can be found in  Download c Kendra McMahon

Looking a burning candle

How do we see the candle?
Think about your ideas.

Overview

  1. Contexts to support inclusion
  2. Multi-cultural or Anti-racist?
  3. Differentiation/personalising learning 
  4. Your subject knowledge of Light

Contexts?

Festivals and celebrations: Divali, Eid, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Christmas, Wesak, Santa Lucia
Bonfire night, Birthdays
Local history - coal mining
The Victorians

Do children have experiences of darkness?

Discussion, introduce experience of visits to Big Pit, global perspective on children's experience of light

Consider NASA earth at night image as a challenge to stereotypical ideas about technologically developed countries as superior

Where is the most light?
Why is this?
Is it a good thing to make so much light?

How do we respond to the ideas we elicit?How do we personalise learning in science?

 Slides were based on children's drawings showing their ideas about shadows and how teaching responded to these. Now published in Howe et al (2009) 2nd Edition Science 5-11 A Guide for teachers. London David Fulton. I do not have permission to reproduce them here.

Differentiation/personalisation strategies

  • Literacy demand (children's recording)
  • Numeracy demand
  • Conceptual demand of a task
  • Science processes demanded of a task
  • Degree of independence expected
  • Distribution of teacher/adult time
  • Grouping of children: collaborative, individual, pair, ‘attainment'

Hillfields Primary School, Bristol  - CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS PROJECT - example of inclusive response (This is a local project to Bath Spa University, but there may be similar local case studies available elsewhere.)

Shadows and silhouettes
Dance
Projection - texture, colour, mixed sources
Supported Bilingual Children

Differentiation/personalisation strategies - cont

 Context - relevance to children
Use of Language, vocabulary - ‘tuning in' to children and staying on the same wavelength
Finding alternative ways of developing and sharing meaning e.g. bodily kinaesthetic

What is Light? 

A wave?
A stream of particles (photons)?
Wave-particle duality

When light meets a material - it might:

Go through (and sometimes bend)
Bounce off  - reflect (Evenly, or be dispersed)
Be absorbed (fully, or partially)

Colour of objects

Ideas about how we see things
          Children's ideas from SPACE project research related to philosophers and scientists
          Euclid, Plato, Al hazen
 
Then show extract from BBC Light fantastic (2007) Episode 1 about Al hazen.


(7 mins)
 
Or from BBC Science and Islam Episode 2 (2008)



This is longer (10mins), but has the advantage of being presented by a scientist with arabic roots and using the arab name Hasan ibn al -Haytham  rather than the western Al hazen

Light Workshop Tutor Notes

1. Elicitation 
Ask students to discuss their ideas about the first 3 light assessment tasks in pairs. Ask them to jot down any questions or areas of confusion that they have to be addressed during the workshop. Stress that they are responsible for developing their own understanding through the activities, and by talking with peers and tutor.
Use diagrams to help explain your ideas.
1.    Children often confuse shadows and reflections. How would you explain the difference between them?
2.    A student teacher produced a worksheet of drawings of various objects, such as a teddy, a mirror, a hat, silver foil etc. and the children were asked to circle all the objects that reflect light. The student expected the children only to circle the mirror, and foil and the other shiny objects.  Would this be correct? Why or why not?
3. Teacher: why are there no shadows on a cloudy day?
Pupil 1: Because the sunlight can't get through the clouds
Pupil 2: But if the light can't get through the clouds, it will be dark
What do you think of these answers? Why are there no shadows when it is cloudy?
4.Use secondary sources to find out how a rainbow is formed and present your explanation. NB No model answer is provided.

2. Circus of practical activities - see below
 
Watch Teachers TV clip of Y1 children doing similar activities.
http://www.teachers.tv/video/2486 

  • Transparent translucent opaque (sorting)
  • colour and seeing (filters and shoes boxes)
  • Incy Wincy Spider (shadow puppets)
  • Anna's mirror (hinged mirrors)
  • The dark, dark cave  (book and den!)
  • Periscopes and kaleidoscopes
  • Rose tinted spectacles
  • Light table (‘Reggio' style)
  • Mirrors
  • Shadow screen
  • Measuring light (dataloggers) 

Students to do activities set up around the room and can also work on their assessment tasks. Tutor circulates and talks with groups and individuals to address any questions and provide explanations.
 
3.    Feedback / tutor input  (20 mins) 
Address the following areas of subject knowledge
What is the difference between a shadow and a reflection? 
What happens when light meets a material that is : 

  •  transparent, 
  •  translucent , or 
  •  opaque? 

How objects are different colours 

4. What is the difference between an investigation and other practical activities? PPT slide (10 mins) 
Light workshop used ‘exploration', ‘observation' and ‘illustrative' activities. Discuss the differences between them and how we might approach using them in KS1 and Early years settings. Raise the issue of doing an ‘investigation' - link back to last weeks session - and how it is similar/different.
Can they think of any examples of each type from the course or school?

5. In sympathy with how busy they are at the moment, show the trainees a video clip of burning a candle at both ends on Youtube
 
Candle movie by the neistatbrothers

Light workshop - Kit and activities
 
The idea is to set them up around the room as ‘stations' for students to visit as they like.

Light travels in straight lines
Equipment: four vertical pieces of white card on stands, three with holes in. Torch. String.

  • Line up the three holes so that you can shine a torch through and make a small circle of light on the fourth piece of card.
  • Now thread the string through the holes without moving the cards.
  • You should be able to pull the string taught, showing that the light has travelled in a straight line.

Subject knowledge statement
Light travels in a straight line unless something prevents it from doing so...

Curriculum link
KS2 Sc4:3a Light travels from a source

Transparent, translucent or opaque?
Equipment: torches (one weak, one powerful), range of transparent, translucent and opaque materials, (including frosted glass) white card on the table.
Test and sort the materials into three sets:

  • transparent (don't form shadows)
  • translucent (form grey or coloured shadows) 
  • opaque (form dark shadows). 

Are there problems with these criteria? Does it depend how you test the materials?

Subject knowledge statement
Light travels in a straight line unless something prevents it from doing so... and that this can be used to explain the formation of shadows;

Curriculum link
KS2 Sc4:3b Light cannot pass through some materials, and how this leads to the formation of shadows.

Angles of reflection
Equipment: torch, mirror held vertically, two long cardboard tubes, protractor
Arrange the torch to shine along one of the cardboard tubes at the mirror (at an angle). Move the other tube so you can see the torchlight reflected in the mirror.
Measure the angles between both tubes and the mirror.
Now change the angle of incidence (tube with the torch) and move the ‘viewing tube' so you can see the image again.
Measure angles and repeat. Any patterns?
What happens if you replace the mirror with a matt surface?

Subject knowledge statement
When light reflects from a smooth flat surface the angle it reflects at is always the same as the angle it arrived at.

Curriculum link
KS2 Sc4:3c Light is reflected from surfaces

Colour and seeing
Equipment: shoebox with peephole and hole in the top (approx. 3cm diameter). Small coloured objects, white object, colour filters, black sugar paper.
Place the white object in the box and look through the peephole.
Try placing different coloured filters (and combinations of filters) over the hole in the top of the box and note what colour (and how bright) the object appears.
Now try with the different coloured objects.
What do you notice?
What gives an object its ‘colour'?
Cover the top of the box with black sugar paper. What do you expect to see now?
What does this tell us about how we see?

Subject knowledge

  • light can differ in intensity and wavelength;
  • the colour of an object depends on the wavelengths of light that it scatters,
  • objects are seen when light is emitted or reflected from them and enters the eye through the pupil, causing the retina to send messages, carried by nerves, to the brain;

Curriculum link

KS1 Sc43b that darkness is the absence of light
Ks2 Sc4:3d We see things only when light from them enters our eyes
 
Incy Wincy Spider
Equipment: Shadow Screen and Incy Wincy Spider Shadow Puppets
Tell the tale of Incy Wincy Spider using the shadow puppets!
Incy Wincy Spider climbed the water spout
Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, so
Incy Wincy Spider climbed the spout again
 
Subject knowledge
Light cannot pass through some materials, this leads to the formation of shadows
Visible light consists of different wavelengths of light which we see as different colours

Curriculum Link
CGFS  Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses, as appropriate.
CGFS Find out about...objects and events they observe
CGFS Enjoy listening to and using spoken and written language
KS1 Sc3 1a use their senses to explore and recognize the similarities and differences between materials
KS1 Sc3 1d find out about the uses of a variety of materials and how these are chosen for specific uses on the basis of their properties
 
Anna's Mirror
Equipment:  Hinged mirror, penny, protractors, white card
Put the penny on the card in the ‘v' of the hinged mirrors.
How many ‘coins' can you see in the reflection?
How could you change the number of coins you see?
What opportunities are there here for pattern seeking?

Subject knowledge
Light reflects from good mirrors in predictable ways depending on the angle between the light and the surface

Curriculum link
KS2 Sc4:3c Light is reflected from shiny surfaces
 
The Dark Dark Cave
Equipment: book - Can't you Sleep Little Bear?
large sheets/ blankets/ curtains including some things which are 'see through' - e.g. net fabric.
Can you make a dark, dark cave in the room?
Talk about the best materials to make a dark cave.  
Take some different coloured objects into the cave - Can you see them? What do they look like?

Subject knowledge
Darkness is the absence of light
Light cannot pass through some materials
We see things when light reflected from them enters our eyes

Curriculum link
CGFS Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate
CGFS Find out about...some features of...objects and events they observe
CGFS Look closely at differences, patterns and change
KS2 Sc3 1a Compare everyday materials and objects on the basis of their properties..
KS1 Sc3 1a use their senses to explore and recognize the similarities and differences between materials
KS1 Sc3 1d find out about the uses of a variety of materials and how these are chosen for specific uses on the basis of their properties
 
Periscopes and kaleidoscopes
Equipment: collection of periscopes and kaleidoscopes
Explore the toys - enjoy the ‘Wow factor' and think about what might be happening inside them

Subject knowledge
Mirrors can be arranged at certain angles to each other to change the direction light is travelling in and  to create multiple reflections.

Curriculum link
CGFS Look closely at differences, patterns and change
KS2 Sc3c that light is reflected from surfaces
 
Rose tinted spectacles?
Equipment: card tubes, clear and coloured cellophane
Attach the cellophanes over one end of the cardboard tube with rubber bands to make telescopes or binoculars. 
Look at different coloured objects.  What do you see? 
Try the telescope with different layers of cellophanes.

Subject knowledge
We see things when light reflected from them enters our eyes
Visible light consists of different wavelengths of light which we see as different colours
We see objects as coloured because they reflect different wavelengths of light

Curriculum link
CGFS Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate
CGFS Find out about...some features of...objects and events they observe
CGFS Look closely at differences, patterns and change
KS1 Sc3 1a use their senses to explore and recognize the similarities and differences between materials
 
‘Light Table' 
Equipment: OHP (ideally a 'Reggio-style' light-table) range of materials - cut out shapes, toys, acetates (colour filters), feathers, sequins,
Explore the effects you get by putting different things on the screen

Subject knowledge
There are many different light sources including the sun
Light travels from a source
Light cannot pass through some materials, this leads to the formation of shadows
Visible light consists of different wavelengths of light which we see as different colours
We see objects as coloured because they reflect different wavelengths of light

Curriculum link

CGFS explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions
CGFS Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate
CGFS Look closely at differences, patterns and change
KS1 Sc3 1a use their senses to explore and recognize the similarities and differences between materials
 
Mirrors!
Equipment: range of plane, concave and convex mirrors, shiny spoons, mirrors on stands, attractive objects,
Explore the mirrors.
Look your own reflection in different mirrors.
Look at the reflection of other objects.
What effects can you get by moving the mirrors around?

Subject knowledge
Light is reflected from surfaces
We see things when light reflected from them enters our eyes
 
Curriculum link
KS2 Sc3 1a Compare everyday materials and objects on the basis of their properties..
KS1 Sc3 1d find out about the uses of a variety of materials and how these are chosen for specific uses on the basis of their properties
KS2 Sc3c that light is reflected from surfaces
 
Shadow screen
Equipment: shadow screen/wall, projector, ideas for making shadow animals, box of materials to make shadows with- including different shaped boxes, dowelling sticks, elastic bands, bathroom frosted glass, coloured acetates
What different shaped shadows can you make?
What happens if you move closer or further away?
What kinds of shadows do different materials make?

Subject knowledge
Light travels in straight lines
Shadows are formed on a surface when light is blocked from getting to it.
The relative positions of the light source, block and surface will affect the size of the shadow
Some materials are better at blocking light than others.

Curriculum link
KS1 Sc43b that darkness is the absence of light
KS2 Sc3a that light travels from a source
KS2 Sc3b that light cannot pass through some materials and how this leads to the formation of shadows
 
Measuring Light
Equipment: datalogger set up linked to lap top with light meter, datalogger set up as simple hand held light meter, small collection of materials, transparent, translucent opaque, collection of mirrors/reflective surfaces
What measurements of light can you make?
How can you change the amount of light that reaches you from a source?
Can you measure how good a reflector something is?
 
Subject knowledge
Some materials are better at blocking light than others.
Some materials are better at reflecting light than others
 
Curriculum link
KS1 Sc43b that darkness is the absence of light
KS2 Sc3a that light travels from a source
KS2 Sc3b that light cannot pass through some materials and how this leads to the formation of shadows

Downloads in this Unit: Light and Inclusion