Playing with Shadows

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To provide an opportunity for students to observe, investigate, reason and infer

Materials Required

  • Small torch and some everyday objects - opaque, transparent and translucent (semi-transparent)
  • Observation Sheet


  1. Ask students in small groups what is their understanding of shadow formation - what are shadows, how are they formed, etc.
  2. Then hand over a worksheet with the following investigative questions and ask children to design experiments with the given objects to answer the questions based on their observations. Different groups can be given different objects.
    • Are shadows always longer/shorter?
    • Can an object have 2 shadows?
    • If yes, can they be of different lengths?
    • What determines the length of a shadow/ what factors influence the length of a shadow?
    • What determines the sharpness of shadows?
    • Shadows are sometimes sharper and sometimes more blurred, why?
  3. After the activity, ask students to share their experiences, findings and inferences with other groups. Discuss the process that students went through to design the experiment, if there are any similar/contradictory findings, probe students to think about their hypotheses, what made them arrive at those conclusions. Questions to ask during consolidation:
    • Did you discover anything new about shadows during the activity?
    • Were there any other questions that came to your mind when playing around with shadows?
    • Did you get an answer to your question? How?

Pedagogic principle:

Designing an experiment

Communicates conclusion clearly


Criterion 5 4 3 2 1
Design an experiment Design appropriate experiment to find an answer to the given questions Design appropriate experiment after 2-3 trails Design experiments with constant guidance and peer support Struggles to design experiments to find an answer to questions Not able to design
Communicates conclusion clearly Can communicate the findings and inferences correctly Can communicate

the findings and inferences correctly with very few errors

Communicates findings and inferences with peer/teachers support Struggles to communicate the findings/ inferences Not able to communicate the findings/ inferences