Translucent, Transparent, Opaque OH MY!!
Lesson 5 of 9
Objective: SWBAT conduct an investigation to find out what happens when you put an object in the beam of light.
Next Generation Science Standards Connection:
In this lesson students will conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light. Students will perform simple tests to gather evidence to support or refute their predictions. These tests will allow them to learn new vocabulary (translucent, transparent, opaque) and discover how these terms relate to light waves. Student will record their thinking in their science journals.
In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships. Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day. Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times. In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.
I LOVE involving parents in the learning in my classroom. This parent letter is both an introduction to our next two units as well as a request for supplies. Many of the items used to teach this unit are recyclable items so I ask for help from parents and colleagues.
1. science vocabulary- light, beam, mirror, transparent, translucent, opaque, material, shadow, block
7. science journal - I use blank paper in my journals so my students have more space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.
I begin my lesson by introducing the words: translucent, transparent, and opaque. I write these words on an anchor chart and tell my students that we are using these words today in our lesson. Readers learn how to use context clues to help them figure out a meaning of an unknown word. This is something I teach explicitly to my students. In science I show my students how to do the same thing. I show them how to use clues in books, experiments, and anchor charts to help them describe unknown words. In this lesson I show examples of each of our new vocabulary words (transparent, translucent and opaque) and together with my students infer the meaning of the word. As my students discover the meaning of the new words my students are engaged and involved in high levels of science discourse.
Boys and girls, I have three very important words for you to know: translucent, transparent, and opaque. Do you see the trays I have on the counter? The first tray has items that are Transparent. I place the word transparent on the tray. This next tray has objects that are Opaque. I place the word opaque on the tray. With your turn and talk partner please share how these two trays are different.
As the children are engaged in scientific discourse I record their thinking on our anchor chart: clear, you can see through it, you cannot see through it, etc.
Boys and girls you just discovered that when something is transparent you can see through it and when something is opaque you cannot see through it. Very good! Now look at this tray. These objects are Translucent. How would you describe things that are translucent?
I have my students share with their turn and talk partners. Using turn and talk partners is a great tool for encouraging science discourse. My students say things like: it is kind of clear but has color, it is sort of see through but not all the way, you can see through it a little bit.
Today we are going to use objects that are transparent, translucent and opaque to learn more about light beams or light rays.
Students explore how the beam of light changes when an object is put in its path. Students work in partnership to explore what happens when light hits different objects. The goal of this activity is for students to discover that some objects allow the light to pass through while others do not and instead form a shadow. Students perform simple tests to gather evidence to support or refute their ideas about the cause of a light beam (flashlight) being effected by an object put in its path.
Today I want my students to design an investigation using the tools I provide to answer the question: What do different types of materials do to the beam of light?
Boys and girls you will be working with your partner today to discover more about light. Let's start by recording some questions that you have about light? Do you ever wonder about light waves? What questions do you have about light waves? I guide my students to develop questions about light and record them on our anchor chart. The questions guide our investigation.
Today your job is to find an answer to this question: What do different types of material do to the beam of light? You will be working with your workshop partner to create an investigation that will help you study the beam of light. On this tray you have one object that is opaque, one object that is translucent and one object that is transparent. You also have one flashlight. How might you use these objects to study the beam of light?
I have my students have a discussion and listen in to use their words to help them create an investigation. The Next Generation Science Standards asks students to plan and carry out investigations. I am providing that materials and my students are planning the investigation.
Boys and girls you said that we should use the flashlight to shine at the stuff on the tray to find out what happens to the light. Remember we are not studying what happens to the objects but rather the beam of light. We will need to use the tray for the background so we can see what happens to the light.
Can I have each of you move to sit next to your workshop partner. This will be the partner that is the "working" partner. I want these two to come up with a plan for their investigation.
I would like for you to work with your workshop partner to come up with a plan for how to study the beam of light. What could you do today to help be successful. My students work together to discuss a plan. Each partnership decided to use the tray for the background and shine the flashlight at the tray. The person who holds the tray is the person to move the objects in between the beam the of light and the tray.
As you were talking I heard you already making smart predictions about our exploration. I LOVE THAT!! You are going to do the exact same thing today. This recording sheet has a box for you to make predictions. Before we get started you will fill in the to fill in the first boxes with the names of the objects on your tray. Next write your prediction or best guess for each object. You will write what you think will happen to the beam of light when that object is put in its path.
Remember we are going to answer this question: What do different types of material do to the beam of light? We need to know, what does an opaque object do to the beam of light? What does a translucent object do to the beam of light? What does a transparent object do to the beam of light?
I send my students off to their tables to fill out the first two sections of the recording sheet. I ask them to fill in all the object names and all the predictions. Once everyone has this part completed the investigation begins. The lights go off and the students work and discover. I turn the lights back on for my students to record their thinking.
As my students are working I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching. I encourage my students to use the new vocabulary (translucent, transparent and opaque) and to think about what it does to the light sources (beam of light). I record my observations on science recording sheet and use this data to drive my teaching.
After working with their workshop partners student share their data with their turn and talk partners. Together as a whole we graph the data on our Interactive Whiteboard. I want my students to see the patterns among the different materials used. I ask my students What do different materials do to the beam of light?
I listen for answers like:
- Translucent objects let some light pass through
- Transparent objects let all light pass through
- Opaque objects let no light pass through
- Opaque objects form a shadow
I record their thinking on our anchor chart about the beam of light. Anchor charts are a great tool for making thinking accessible and visual for our learners. They create a culture of literacy and allow the learning to be both relevant and current. My students refer to our anchor charts often and use them to deepen classroom conversations.
Integrating curriculum gives students power over their learning. It allows our students to see the real world connections to what they are learning how subjects intertwine. When students participate in art activities that are purposeful and meaningful, they develop skills that allow them construct meaning from that subject. I introduce my students to shadow art through this video with Mr. Rogers.
We turn off the lights and students explore with making shadow art using their hands a flashilght.
The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. At the K-2 level this involves students collecting, recording, and sharing observations. In this lesson the students are recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to write the answer to our big question: "What do different materials do to the beam of light?" As the students write I tell them to refer back to the research we did today. I tell them if they use information from another student's recording sheet then they must write that source in their journal. I am looking for answers that include words like transparent, opaque and translucent. This formative assessment gives me insight on the learning that is taking place.
After watching the video I show my class the work of Yumi Yamashita. We look at her art work and have conversations about how she used shadows to make art like Mr. Rogers.
Art Extension: This is the perfect place to allow my students to make their own shadow art. I invite children to bring a favorite toy, pattern or design to school and on a sunny day. I tape the objects in the window and then have my students trace away on black paper. They can trace as many as they want and then glue them onto white paper. While the children are creating their own shadow art I call them one at a time to create Silhouette Art Pieces. We keep these beautiful pictures and send them home for Mother's Day.