Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!
Lesson 7 of 9
Objective: SWBAT discover ways that mirrors can redirect a light beam.
Next Generation Science Standards Connection:
In this lesson students will conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing mirrors in the path of a beam of light. Students will perform simple tests to gather evidence to answer our question: How can light beams bend? This explorations will introduce students to new vocabulary (reflection) and discover how this term relates 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. Vocabulary - light, beam, mirror, material, shadow, block, reflection
2. mirrors (2 or 3 per partnership)
4. science journal - I use blank paper in my journals so my students have more space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.
5. Journal Prompts: Can you bend the beam of light? How?
I have all my students gathered in our meeting area on the rug. I want to activate student prior knowledge by reminding the students what they learned in our previous lesson about light, "Translucent, Transparent, Opaque OH MY!!"
Light can travel from one place to another. If you turn on a flashlight and point it at the wall, the light will travel from the flashlight all the way to the wall. The light bean travels in a straight line. I want you to look at these pictures. What do you notice about the light beams.
I want my students to point out that the beam travels in a straight line. I take a flashlight and point to the wall.
Boys and girls do you think I can point this flashlight at the wall in front of me the light can turn and touch the wall to the left of me? Light travels in a straight line but do you think we can bend the beam of light? Today I want you to try and discover more about the beam of light. As you work you will try and answer this question:
Can you bend the beam of light? If yes, how?
During the exploration, my students work in partnerships or teams to explore ideas through hands-on activities. The goal is to have students clarify their own understanding of the concepts and skills being taught while the teachers acts as a facilitator clarifying information through conferring and questioning.
In this exploration students explore the reflective properties of a mirror.
Today we are going to answer the question: Can the beam of light bend? If yes, how? As you are working I want you to think hard about this question and see what you can discover!
On this tray you will get a flashlight and mirrors to help you today. I want you and your workshop partner to come up with a plan using these two tools. What do you think you can do to make the beam of light bend. My students turn and talk and share different ideas for bending the beam of light.
Hold the flashlight straight and hold the hand sideways and try to bend the light.
Hold the mirror straight and then shine the flashlight at an angle and see what happens.
Put the mirror at the edge of the flashlight and then shine the flashlight onto the mirror and see if it goes to the ceiling.
Point the flashlight at the mirror and see if it bounces back.
Shine the flashlight at the mirror and see what happens.
Are you ready to get to work? Off you go?
As my students work I walk around and confer with each group 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 reteaching. If my students can't make the light beam bend I will prompt them to use the mirrors on the tray. Conferring is a great formative assessment tool will help guide the learning in my classroom. During the conferring I will introduce the word reflection.
Possible Questions to pose to students during conference:
Where is the light shining?
What happened to the light when you shone it on the mirror?
How did you make the light move?
I give my students a second mirror and ask them to use both mirrors to bend light. Then I ask, "Did you try to add a second mirror? What happened?"
I bring my students back together so they can share their discoveries with their turn and talk partners. As they share their findings I listen in on student conversations. I pose questions like:
What happened when you used two mirrors?
How did you make the light move?
What happened when you shone the light beam on the mirror?
Boys and girls you learned all about ways to bend light beams today. I want to teach you a new word. It is called reflection. Can you say reflection? Great! Reflection happens when you shine a narrow beam of light at something, you get a beam of light reflected back off it. For example when you shined the flashlight into a mirror, you got a beam of light bouncing back towards you. Have you ever heard the word reflection? What does this make you think of?
I want my students to make some connections to the books I have read this week during our literacy block. I read these books that introduce the idea of reflection: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, Lullaby Moon by Rosie Reeve
There is research that states that our students are more likely to gain a deeper understanding of the science concepts when they are actively engaged in doing science. I believe that technology can allow children to experience this type of learning. I show my students this video to learn more about light reflection.
Boys and girls in this video you learned a lot about light reflection. We have learned that you can reflect light off of a pond, a mirror and even a tray. Can you think of some other examples where light is reflected?
My students turn and share their thinking with their turn and talk partners. The speaking and listening standards from the Common Core asks that students participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts. I ask my students to engage in high level discourse with partners and scaffold their development by noticing and naming their smart thinking. I record their thinking on our "Reflections" anchor chart.
WOW! Great examples! Let's make a list of all the different ways we can reflect light.
List: mirrors, pond, snow, raindrops, etc.
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.
"Boys and girls today and everyday when you see light beams you see light traveling in straight lines. Today you learned that mirrors can bend light beams and cause them to change direction. You learned that when light bounces off of the mirror it is called reflection."
In order to check for understanding, I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to take a few minutes draw and write what they learned today. In their journals, I ask them to write the answer to our big question. Can you bend the beam of light? If yes, how. I look for answers like, "I learned that we can bend the beam of light by using mirrors." or "I learned that mirrors can reflect light and make it turn."
Research shows that our students are more likely to gain a deeper understanding of the science concepts when they are actively engaged in doing science. I believe that technology can allow children to experience this type of learning.
I give my students time to play this interactive activity on the computer. This game allows my students to explore with light beams and mirrors. They can change the angle of the mirrors to reflect the lights on different objects.