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  • In this activity, students use scientific models and exploration to observe the position of the Sun and its physical effect on light and shadows.

    The activities are designed for students working at New Zealand Curriculum levels 1 and 2. The activities cover both Physical World and Planet Earth and Beyond concepts.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • recognise that the size and shape of shadows change during the day
    • recognise the changing position of the Sun causes shadows to change
    • correlate longer shadows with the Sun’s position lower on the horizon
    • correlate shorter shadows with the Sun’s position higher in the sky.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Nature of science

    This activity supports the science capabilities ‘Gather and interpret data’ and ‘Use evidence’. It also provides students with the opportunity to work with and discuss simple models.

    Related content

    The articles Light and shadows and Light basics provide useful background information.

    Use the activity Investigating shadows prior to this activity to ensure that students have a basic understanding of shadows.

    The article Alternative conceptions about light and shadows points out a few of the erroneous conceptions young people may hold. Being aware of common alternative conceptions helps educators to identify them when they surface in discussions and provides an opportunity to scaffold change.

    The Science Learning Hub team has curated a collection of resources related to light and shadows. The collection is intended for teachers and students working at New Zealand Curriculum levels 1 and 2. The collection includes literacy links to New Zealand Ministry of Education reading resources. Learn how to create, use and share collections here.

      Published 23 May 2019 Referencing Hub articles
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