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Chasing Shadows

This term, Year 3 have been learning all about light. They have identified different light sources and understand that we need light to see. Through practical demonstrations the students have been able to recognize that shadows are areas of darkness where light has been blocked.

Intrigued by shadows, the class investigated how the size of the shadow changed depending on how far away the light source was. Their results told them that when the light source was close to an object the shadow was bigger, and when the light source was far away from an object, the shadow was smaller.

  • Chasing Shadows
  • Chasing Shadows
  • Chasing Shadows

Our second investigation took us outside of the classroom, to find out how shadow length changed throughout the day. We made predictions based on our own experiences and where the sun would be at different times. We also discussed how we would make the investigation fair. Some of the variables that the students said we needed to keep the same were:

  • Measure the same person
  • Stand up straight
  • Measure from the same place

The students worked in small groups to carry out the investigation. They had to cooperate as a team to outline and measure the shadows accurately. Our results showed that our shadows were long in the morning, short at midday and then long again in the afternoon. Some of our shadows were over 3 metres long in the afternoon! As we observed the shadows throughout the day, we also noticed that the direction of the shadows changed in connection with the position of the sun.

After learning how important light is to us, we also spent some time thinking about the dangers of the sun. We found out that we should never look directly at the sun as it can damage our retinas. The students got creative and designed their own eye protection to keep them safe from the sun.