Curriculum

How Can We Light Our Way in the Dark?

This module is being field tested and will be available to purchase from spring 2020

How Can We Light Our Way in the Dark?

How Can We Light Our Way in the Dark? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a new curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is aligned to a group of grade 1 standards. It has a focus on physical science with a secondary focus on engineering and life science. In this module, students:

  • Investigate interactions between a beam of light and transparent, translucent, and opaque materials, including the formation of shadows and reflection of light
  • Construct claims to explain their observations
  • Obtain information about animal structures that use light to help the animal survive
  • Design a solution that mimics animal structures and increases student visibility in the dark

Below are digital resources that support teaching of this module.

Lesson 1: It’s Dark in Here

Dark Tunnel
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These two video clips of light in dark places should spark student thinking about how to light up a space.

Lighting Simulation
Light Up the Cave
This simulation gives students an opportunity to investigate light sources in a dark environment.

Lesson 2: Shining Light on Danger

Light Sources
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These possible light sources correspond to the Lighting Simulation.

Ada Asks Introduction
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Ada introduces students to the themes of the module.

Daymarks
PDF not available for field testing
Line drawing of a lighthouse. This extension file is not available for field testing.

Lesson 3: Shining Through

Light Investigation
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This file is displayed to guide students in planning and carrying out their investigations.

Lesson 4: The Shadow Effect

Shadow Art
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This is an example of Light and Shadow artwork by Kumi Yamashita. More examples are available on the artist’s website: http://kumiyamashita.com/light-shadow/.

Shadow Investigation
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This file is displayed to guide students while carrying out their investigations.

Cave Art
PDF not available for field testing
Line drawing of a cave with two light sources. This extension file is not available for field testing.

Lesson 5: Bouncing Around

Reflection Flash
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This video provides a lesson-specific phenomenon to prompt student discussion.

Lesson 6: Hide! Escape! Survive!

Flashlight Tag
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The rules of Flashlight Tag in picture form for students and text for teacher.

Lesson 7: Reflecting on Safety

Anchorage School Walks
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Video of an Anchorage, Alaska, school participating in Walk to School Day. Credit: Robert DeBerry/Anchorage School District

Lesson 8: Caution—School Students

Reflective Safety
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Photographs of reflective animals and engineered products for class discussion.

Sign Goals
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A summary of the sign design goals.

Lesson 9: Emergency Escape Part 1

Ada Asks Science Challenge
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Ada introduces students to the science challenge.

Investigation Gallery
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Slides provide students an example of a museum gallery and the model they will use to represent one in their investigation.

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