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What is a shadow?

Teacher making shadow with her hand behind a light source

Project information

The puppet show

Following on from another project, the children decided to put on a puppet show and became fascinated with the shadows. After discussing the children’s prior knowledge, the group went searching for more shadows.

Shadow detectives

Armed with our camera, we went hunting for shadows and the children made exciting discoveries: “Look, my shadow is there! Miss Sue, your shadow is bigger!” We experimented with angles and making shadows bigger and smaller. These initial investigations filled us with a sense of wonder and we started looking more closely at everything around us, leading to the discovery that our shadows disappeared on a wet morning.

Exploring different scenarios

We explored different forms of natural and artificial lighting, giving us the opportunity to form hypotheses and investigate questions such as: “How does night time affect our shadows?” “How can we make shadows?” “What could we use?”

Revisiting our experiences

We documented our thoughts and observations in our floorbook, which allowed us to revisit our experiences, discuss them in group, form new hypotheses and take our research into new directions. Our research followed the children’s lead throughout and opened our eyes to the world of shadows around us. We even received feedback that children involved in the project were now meeting shadows with scientific interest rather than fear.

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