I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me. And what can be the use of him is more than I can see…..
Do you remember this poem, “My Shadow”, it is a great one to use when talking to your students about shadows. Why does that shadow follow me around everywhere I go? Why is it small and sometimes tall?
I teach about shadows a few times in the year, once in my Sound and Light Unit and again in my unit about the Sun and the Moon.
Sound and Light Unit
During our Light and Sound unit, we discuss how we get shadows on earth from different objects blocking the light or the sun. I demonstrate using the projector and I stand in front of it to show my body blocking the light and making a shadow. I use various objects to show their shadows and I also show them a video of a man who does shadow puppets.
Then we cast the light from the projector up on the board and students get to take turns making shadow puppets. I had a parent donate flashlights one year and the students had to make a story with their shadow puppets.
Sun and Moon Patterns
In out unit where we learn about the Sun and the Moon Patterns, when studying about the sun, we go out first thing in the morning, as soon as school begins. I have the students stand on a line on the blacktop, they all need to face the same direction. We take notice of our shadows. How long is it? How wide is it? What is the direction? You can even go to a more extreme and measure a few students’ shadow.
We come in and discuss our shadows and draw them on our shadow paper.
We go out again right before lunch and we stand on the same line and what do we notice. The kids get so excited to see that it has moved. We go in and draw again. Then we go out again right before we go home and we fill in the 3rd box. I ask students to check again before dinner, some remember and some don’t.
The next day we go through the changes of our shadow and how it relates to time and the movement of the earth around the sun. It makes the concept much more real to them.
These are some great shadow activities that engage your students. It gets them out of their seat and interacting with others. The students have fun and don’t realize that they are learning. Plus, you get to be that fun teacher!