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How does light travel from object to object?

Central Focus/Big Idea: How does light travel?
Subject of this lesson: Science
Grade Level: 4th Grade
NC Essential Standard(s):
4.P.3.2 Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object
or travels from one medium to another, and that light can be reflected,
refracted, and absorbed.
Next Generation Science Standard(s):
4-PS4-2 Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and
entering the eye allows objects to be seen.
21st Century Skills:
Critical Thinking
Academic Language Demand
Language Function: Analyze
Scientific Vocabulary:
- Reflect (To move in one direction, hit a surface, and then quickly move
in a different and usually opposite direction)
- Refract (To make light change direction when it goes through at an
- Absorb (Take in or soak up)
- Prism
- Transparent (Allowing light to pass through see through)
- Translucent (Not completely clear or transparent but clear enough to
allow light to pass through)
- Opaque (Not able to be seen through not transparent)
Instructional Objective:
4.P.3.2 Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object
or travels from one medium to another, and that light can be reflected,
refracted, and absorbed.
- Students will be able to describe what happens to light when it hits an

Challenge: This activity/lesson will challenge students to use their higher

level of thinking.
Active: This activity is not only hands on but it is also minds on.
Integrative: Materials from around the house/classroom are going to be
placed at each station to help us learn about light.
Prior Knowledge (student):
Most students will have had many experiences with light energy. Students will have seen and
even played with shadows before.
Recognize that energy can be transferred from one object to another. (3.P.3).
Recognize the basic forms of energy as the ability to cause motion or create
change. (4.P.3.1)
Content Knowledge (teacher): Teacher needs to understand what happens
when light hits a specific object. Understands the basic rules of light. (Listed
on lesson plan)
Accommodations for special needs
Students will be working in groups so each student will have additional help if needed.
For the worksheet, the teacher can provide a translated worksheet for students or give them a
resource to look up words for translation. Additional time will be given to students, if needed.
Materials and Technology requirements:
1. Prisms
2. Foil
2. Wax (make something at this station)
2. Saran Wrap
3. Construction Paper (white & black)
4. Mirrors
Interactive Notebooks
Total Estimated Time: One science class period (1 hour 1.5 hours)
Source of lesson: Teacher/Discovery Education
Safety considerations: Students will be asked to take turns when using the
objects and be careful/dont stand up if the lights are turned off.
Content and Strategies (Procedure)
Teacher will show the students what happens when he/she shines a flashlight
on the wall. Does this light look like it is traveling in a straight line all the
way from the end of the flashlight to the wall? Give time for students to
raise their hands and answer the question. How come you think/know

that? Let students answer. If I put this piece of paper in front of the
flashlight, does the light still make it to the wall? What do you think that
says about the light traveling?
Teacher will teach the students about light: Light is a form of energy that
travels in waves. Light travels in a straight line from its source and it may
reflect when it hits an object. Light can travel faster than anything else in
the universe.
Students will be broken up into 5 stations around the room. Each station will
contain a flashlight and an object or few of the same objects if supplies
allows. Students will work together to decide what happens to the light as it
hits the object. Once 3 minutes is up at the station, students will stop what
they are doing and write down their observations on the worksheet.
Students will carry around this worksheet to write down what they notice at
each station.
Does the light go straight through your object or does the object stop the
light? How can you tell?
What happens to the light when you shine it towards your object?
Why do you think this is happening?
What does this experiment prove about light traveling?
All students will come back together as a class. The teacher will ask the
students questions to get them to think about what they observed and if
they have any similarities. Each group of students will be able to share some
observations they made while going through the stations. Once the class
has a discussion about the lesson, students will get the opportunity to write
down what they learned on a sticky note and place it on the board. Students
are also allowed to write down a question or a negative on the board if they
need further explanation. Teacher will walk around throughout the lesson
Students will be given a chance to come up with more objects that could be
used. They will be given time to walk around the classroom and test out
other objects to see what other observations they can find. They will write
down their findings about the back of the worksheet to share with the class.
Can you explain to the class what happens when you shine the
flashlight at that object?
What other objects would have similar results?
Students will turn in their worksheet at the end of class. This will be looked
at for participation and for an understanding of the activity. This is a
formative assessment.

To be complete after the lesson is taught as appropriate

Assessment Results of all objectives/skills:
Reflection on lesson:
My lesson was compacted with a lot of information for the students to work with,
discover, and learn about. At the beginning of the lesson, I explained to the students how light
travels in a straight line until it hits an object; if the material they were working with was
transparent, translucent, or opaque; how to see a rainbow through a prism because of refracted
light; and how light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed using different activities.
The students were placed into groups of 5-6 students and they were assigned a station to
start at. They were given about 15 minutes to complete the work at that individual station before
rotating. Students were asked to collaborate with one another to come up with answers and
make observations about what they thought was happening. Students enjoyed the stations
because they were able to work hands on and in groups to dig deeper into information.
Students proceeded to get loud throughout the lesson so I had to keep doing a signal to let
them know to lower their voices. Before teaching another lesson, I would want to make sure I
have sufficient classroom management so I could keep the students in a calm and quiet learning
environment while working in groups/stations.
If I were to do this lesson again, I would make sure to set rules at the beginning of the
lesson so they know what I expected of them. Also, before students rotated from station to
station, I would have a pause moment and remind the students of what they are doing when
they get to the next station instead of letting them go and trying to figure it out. When I taught, I
told the students to quietly stand up and move to the next station with no further instruction. So
when the students arrived to the next station, the noise level became very high because they were
trying to figure out what to do all at one time.
CT signature/confirmation: _________________________________ Date: