Tuesday, March 9, 2010

shadow and light

A classmate and I are creating a unit of curriculum for a Kindergarten class hovering around, and expanding from, SHADOWS. We're having a great time dreaming up ideas and researching, but I know there are more ideas out there.

Will you share with us your classroom explorations with shadow? We would be so grateful to learn from you. All ideas are very welcome. If you are using a projector in your classroom, as many Reggio Emilia classrooms do, I'd especially love some info, a book reference, or a link to your ideas with that.
The sun has just made its welcome return to the DC area, so it feels like perfect timing to dream up ideas with light and shadow. I hope the sun is shining where you are, too.


  1. We use a projector, but I'm sure Reggio people have more ideas than me.

    I wish I could remember the book's title, but it's a Chinese fable about shadows moving as the sun crosses the sky. I like to demonstrate this by using a flashlight and making shadows into a box so the kids can see how the shadows change as the light source moves. Naturally, after I show them what I want them to see, I turn the light and box over to them to explore.

    Last week when the sun finally peeked out, the kids were putting cars, figurines, etc. onto their paper then tracing the shadow. They did this spontaneously, which I thought was pretty cool.

    And I'm sure you must know about tracing kids' full-body shadows with chalk on the sidewalk . . . =)

  2. I wrote a little song about shadows but at the end of the post are some links to ideas from other bloggers you might like! http://littlefingersplay.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-shadow.html

  3. What's with this reggio people business? We aren't reggio people! We are people people, who have a philosophy, that's all. pffffff, teacher tom!

    we use a few things. an overhead projector, with which we (mistakenly) started out with this year with a plastic spider on the glass, so it's out spider shadow wall. we also have a slide projector, where we can project slides and light across the classroom. it's great to put the projector on one end of the building area, and then have the shadows of the buildings fall onto the wall behind them. we also have a lot of flashlights, and while we have the dark room (aka nap room) to go on dark hunts, we have also built forts to dark hunt in. we aren't too sure where the dark comes from, or where he goes, yet, but we know it has something to do with the sun and bedtime. we're working on it :) we've also used prisms and mirrors hung off of the windows, so when light shines through - surprise! Disco balls are great with this, as well.

    if you want to talk about some ideas or share photos, let me know - i love light and shadow, personally.

  4. Tom, love these ideas--thank you! I children's librarian friend of mine is looking up your book recommendation for me. Fingers crossed that I'll find it--it sounds just right.

  5. Deborah, I actually thought of your site for this project last week. I wondered if you'd composed a shadow song, so had a look around...and sure enough, you did! It's perfect, and my presentation partner and I are memorizing it to sing it for our class! I hope she doesn't get all shy at the last minute! Your blog is such an amazing resource. Thank you!

  6. Pamela, thanks for stopping by, love your ideas! Oh my goodness, a dark hunt. That is so cool that is made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

  7. Launa we did a great experiment with the children using the morning sun, where we traced around a child's shadow using chalk on the concrete, and revisited the same spot with the same child a few hours later to investigate the changes that occurred. It led on to some very exciting learning. We also created silhouettes of each of the children and displayed them all year on the wall. It was so interesting to note how some children could recognized their friends instantly but adults really struggled. Perhaps it's because adults seldom look at children in profile ... preferring to interact face to face ... while children playing side by side do!?!
    I've included the link if your interested.


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