Friday, November 21, 2014

Light and Shadows

There are lots of fun activities to teach kindergartners and preschoolers about shadows, but even though the concept seems simple, there is a surprising amount of information to learn for older kids too. For example, can "the speed of dark" actually move faster than the speed of light? That's the subject of this fascinating video…it will make you question all your assumptions for a minute or two. :) 

We had fun doing shadow puppets on the wall—we got some ideas here, but the children also loved making up their own, of course!
Our favorite thing was watching some videos of professional shadow puppeteers (?)—the shapes they can make are AMAZING! And they move between shapes so fluidly! It is really fun to watch:
Here, here, here, and here (this one is cool because you can watch the guy as he makes the shadow pictures with his hands).

We also experimented with what kinds of light make harsher and softer shadows. We used the camera flash and Sam's big reflector to compare direct and indirect light, diffused light, artificial light and sunlight, etc., and how those different lights affected the look of photographs. We tried bouncing the flash off of various surfaces to see how that changed things, too. The children always love being able to use the camera, so this was a big hit.
Abe in various kinds of light, taken by Malachi

Malachi in various kinds of light, taken by Abe

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