At the end of October, we used the FUNCTION concept key to unlock our thinking about how shadows work. We decided to focus our thinking on a moment that had created a lot of joy, laughter, ideas, and questions during our Dark Day and luckily we had a photograph on hand which had captured that moment. Here is Axel dancing in front of the overhead projector and here are our original theories about that moment:
- The reflection of Axel is making it go on the wall. The sun is doing it. (Violett)
- If you go in front of the light you can have your shadow. (Zoe)
- We can see the shadow because of the light. (Aziz)
- The white thing on the wall is a mirror. (Daniel)
- When somebody puts the light on the shadow comes. (Emma)
- Axel makes the shadow by moving his body. (Lea)
- Inside the screen there is a TV and inside the projector there is a TV. (Axel)
- The machine is making the light shine up onto the wall. (Denzil)
With this story, we confirmed our theory that shadows are connected to light. In the case of Bear, this was sunlight. In the case of Axel, this was the light from the projector.
"YES!"..."because we can always see our shadows outside".
So we went outside to see if we were right.
The children were full of wonderful questions, concerns, confusion, and chaos. We had to find out!
Where did our shadows go?
But as we moved to different places in the playground they went away again, but then they would come back, and go away again...
Our excitement was frenetic and many more questions and ideas started flying:
- How can a shadow disappear and come again? (Daniel)
- The trees are blocking the shadows! (Aziz)
- There's already dark over there, so the shadows can't go. (Denzil)
When Ms. Alison asked us to think about where our shadows were coming from and what was creating them, most of us pointed to the sun. We noticed that we could see more than the sun when we looked up. There were trees, a roof, and clouds. Suddenly Daniel had an "Ah-ha!" moment:
The clouds are moving! They are going in front of the sun!
The next week we invited our Grade 3SS buddies to help us do some shadow tracing. We met them in the morning in our K1 playground. They helped us to stand in one place and used one colour of chalk to trace around our feet and another colour to trace around our shadows. We met them again in the afternoon to trace again. Before we went out though, we made some predictions about whether our shadows would change. Everybody agreed that they would stay the same, but when our buddies traced our shadows we found that they had changed...a lot!!
The next day we looked back at the photographs of our shadow tracing and reflected on the experience. We used the CHANGE concept key to unlock our thinking and asked ourselves the questions: Why did our shadows change? What is changing?
Here are our theories and reflections:
- "The sun was here, but then the sun was there." (Zoe)
- "The sun makes shadows." (Aziz)
- "Sun is moving." (Wilma)
- "The sun has some yellow and a little bit of pink. The shadow was running away from the sun and it followed us." (Lea)
- "The sun moved." (Denzil)
- "The sun makes shadows and the shadow disappears when the sun goes down." (Emma)
- "The sun moved so the shadow moved." (Daniel)
- "Because of the sun the shadows change." (Violett)
Since these experiences some more questions and wonderings about natural light sources have emerged including:
- How can one sun light all the countries?
- Does the moon make light?
- How does the moon make shadows?
We will continue our explorations by tuning into these thoughts. I will also continue to play with shadows to be sure that we understand how light sources (including the sun) and objects interact to create shadows.