Studying Light in 1st Grade Science

In their Physical Science unit, 1st Graders are learning about the properties of light, including how it travels and interacts with different materials. Students began their light study with a discussion about transparency, learning the difference between objects that are transparent (allowing all light to pass through), translucent (allowing some light to pass through), and opaque (allowing no light to pass through). When testing various objects to determine their transparency, students discovered that when light shines on an opaque object, a shadow is cast. To investigate this phenomenon further, students made their own shadow puppets.

Next, 1st Graders learned that some materials – such as glass, plastic, and shiny metal – reflect light. They used this knowledge to explore the question, "how can we change the direction that a beam of light is traveling?" Using hand mirrors and flashlights, students worked together to successfully guide a beam of light to hit the center of a target – a challenge that became more difficult as the number of mirrors increased.