Seeing is Believing

Contributor
Christine Anne Royce
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Please note this resource is an article found in the January 2016 Volume 53 Number 5 edition of NSTA's "Science and Children" Journal which can be accessed for free in the NSTA Learning Center for NSTA members.  The article is entitled "You Light Up My Life" by Christine Anne Royce and contains a K-2 lesson "Seeing is Believing" and a 3-5 lesson What Color Is It?"  The K-2 lesson, "Seeing is Believing" is to be utilized with the book "Light: Shadows, Mirrors, and Rainbows" by Natalie M. Roslinksy.  

In this lesson, "students determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.  They also observe that objects in complete darkness can be seen only when illuminated."

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
For the second station the author recommends providing students with a backdrop to make a prediction about whether the light will travel or not travel through an object. Engineering design challenges can be integrated by providing students with flashlights with different lumens and materials for different backgrounds while allowing them to record their observations. It is imperative that teachers monitor students or that they are using one constraint at a time...i.e. such as testing one backdrop with all flashlights or use the same flashlight and switch the backdrops.

K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The lesson plan provides a resource on how teachers can create a pinhole box for a learning station; however teachers can turn this lesson into an engineering design activity by providing students with materials to create and test their own pinhole boxes.

1-PS4-2 Make observations to contruct an evidence-based account that objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated.

Clarification Statement: Examples of observations could include those made in a completely dark room, a pinhole box, and a video of a cave explorer with a flashlight. Illumination could be from an external light source or by an object giving off its own light.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This article is explicit on how to meet the performance expectation. "Students will make observations of objects in pinhole boxes that have no illumination, partial illumination, and full illumination. Students use different materials that are transparent, translucent, opaque, and reflective to make and test predictions regarding what happens to the path of a beam of light."

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The article suggests that students "make and test predictions regarding what happens to the path of a beam of light when different objects are placed in front of it."

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This resource provides the following tips: "Make observations of objects in pinhole boxes that have no illumination, partial illumination, and full illumination. Use different materials that are transparent, translucent, opaque, and reflective to make and test predictions regarding what happens to the path of a beam of light."

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students can "determine that objects made of different materials have predictable outcomes when placed in front of a beam of light." Teachers can use the data sheet to help students keep track of their predictions and summarize their outcomes. As suggested in the text for station one when utilizing the pinhole box teachers should switch out the objects so that students can actually see the objects in the box and not go by "the power of suggestion" based on another student's input.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource allows students to make observations and conduct investigations regarding seeing beams of lights while focusing on cause and effects. Although this lesson does not address engineering directly it is implied and there are opportunities for students to construct shadow boxes as they make sense of phenomena (the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light).

  • Instructional Supports: This resource provides a deeper understanding of the practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts by building upon and enhancing students' knowledge regarding the ability to see light. A student data sheet is provided so students can express, clarify, justify, interpret and represent their ideas in written form. The author identified misconceptions that students may have and how to address them. For example, "Students may also point out that the amount of light passing through an object depends on how far away they hold the flashlight from the object. This misconception can be addressed by setting a designated distance at which students should hold the flashlight from the poster board."

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The assessments provided are aligned to the scientific and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting ideas. It is essential for the teacher to make note of the questions embedded in each section of the 5-E model because during the engagement piece they can serve as a pre-assessment and the remaining components of the 5-E can serve as formative assessments. A student data sheet is provided which can be accessed at http://www.nsta.org/elementaryschool/connections/201601TTTBK-2StudentDataSheet.pdf This sheet allows students to make and test predictions, record their findings, and summarize their understanding regarding seeing light. This same sheet contains a final assessment where students are asked to apply their understanding of different terms and properties of objects by explaining how their friends can best contact them when they arrive at their house using a flashlight as a signaling device.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not have a technological component.