Have you ever wondered why we can see ourselves in the mirror? The answer lies in the concept of reflection. Reflection is the bouncing back of light after it hits a surface. This can happen in various ways – the light can be absorbed, scattered or reflected.
In this lesson, we will explore the world of light and shadow, and how different surfaces reflect light differently. To start, let’s take a look at two common examples of shiny and dull surfaces – a shiny metal spoon and a cardboard box. When we shine a flashlight on the spoon, we see that it reflects light very well, whereas when we shine the flashlight on the cardboard box, it absorbs or scatters the light more than it reflects it.
To better understand how different surfaces reflect light, we’ll be testing out a range of materials in groups. Each group will have one material to hold the flashlight up to and observe how the light is reflected. Before we start, let’s make some predictions on which surfaces will be shiny and which will be dull. We’ll then make a chart to compare and contrast the shiny and dull surfaces, recording the surface material, the finish (polished/smooth or rough), and the brightness of the reflection.
After testing all the surfaces, we can look at the chart and see if our predictions were correct. Can we see any patterns in the data? Why do you think some surfaces are shiny and some are dull? How does the finish of a surface affect its ability to reflect light?
Allow students to draw conclusions from the observed patterns and see the impact of reflection on the surfaces. By the end of this lesson, students will have a deeper understanding of reflection and its impact on the surfaces around us.
Shiny surfaces tend to reflect light better than dull surfaces, and this is an important concept for students to understand as it relates to our everyday experiences. Whether we’re looking in the mirror, walking through a room filled with light and shadows, or simply observing the world around us, the principles of light and shadow are always at play.
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