Sunshine and Shadows

Student Sunshine and Shadows Center Activities and More

Light & Dark

Light & Shadows

Shadows Throughout the Day

BBC Light and Dark

"My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Peep: Night Out

Peep: Night Light

Peep: Shadow Play

Peep: Playing with Shadow Puppets

Word Wall

  • shadow - a dark area made when an object blocks light.

  • light - brightness that makes it possible to see.

  • object - a thing that you can see or touch.

  • silhouette - a shadow-like drawing consisting of the outline of something, usually of a human profile, and filled with a solid color.

  • sun - the star that gives us light and heat.

  • sunshine - the light that the sun gives us.

  • sundial - one of the earliest measuring instruments used to tell time, before clocks and watches.

  • opposite - a shadow is always cast opposite its light source.

What is a shadow?

A shadow is a dark area made when an object blocks light.

Student Work Sample

(Click on images to make it bigger.)

David's Work

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Mrith's Work

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Megans' Work

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What do you need to make a shadow?

To make a shadow you need:

  1. Light

  2. Object

  3. Surface

What kinds of objects make shadows?

The kinds of objects that make shadows are opaque objects, like: watermelons, people, cats, shells, and more...

Transparent objects, like clear glass, will not make a shadow.

What kinds of lights are there?

Some light sources are: sunlight, moonlight, flashlights, lamplight, light bulbs, and fire (candles).

How does a shadow move?

A shadow moves if the object moves (like shadow puppets) or if the light moves.

Can you make a shadow bigger or smaller?

You can make a shadow bigger by moving the object closer to the light.

You can make a shadow smaller by moving the object away from the light.

Can you make a shadow darker or lighter?

You can make a shadow darker by having a bright light.

You can make a shadow lighter by having a dim light.

When is a shadow the longest (length)?

A shadow is the longest in length early and late in day when the sun is low during the sunrise and sunset.

What is the difference between a shadow early or late in the day and a shadow in the middle of the day?

A shadow early in the day (sunrise) and late in the day (sunset) is really long.

A shadow in the middle of the day is really short because the sun is high above you.

To investigate this, our class went outside to observe how shadows are different throughout the day.

We traced our shadows at 8AM, at Noon time, and at 3 PM. Students were paired up with a partner. One partner traced the shadows while the other one was the statue. Both colored in the shadows.

Where is the shadow going to be if the light is in behind you?

If the light is behind you, the shadow will be in front of you because the shadow is always on the opposite side of the object from the light.