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20 October 2014
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Light and dark - lesson plan

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A room in candlelight

  1. To identify and name some different sources of light.
  2. To understand that light sources vary in brightness.

National Curriculum

Sc2, 3d.


You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

Teaching activities


  1. Watch Light montage.
  2. Ask the children to get into pairs and list as many different light sources as possible (recap if taught previously).
  3. Ask the children to cut out the pictures from the light and dark worksheet (PDF 525KB) and to sort them into two separate piles - 'Give out light' and 'Do not give out light'. Ask the children to add two light sources of their own.


  1. Open the Bitesize light and dark activity.
  2. Explain that the light sources will illuminate different objects in the room. Ask what the word 'illuminate' means.
  3. Ask a child to select one of the light sources to illuminate one of the objects in the room. What type of light does it give? Is it bright or dull?
  4. Choose a second light source, illuminate the same object and compare the difference. Why is there a difference? Encourage the use of related vocabulary such as brighter/dimmer, lighter/darker, and lightest/darkest.
  5. Repeat this process with the other light sources and objects, involving as many children as possible. Each time ask the pupils to predict what they think will happen.
  6. Ask the children to form groups, with a computer.
  7. Work through the first screen together. Allow the children to complete the activity. If they are working in pairs, encourage collaborative discussion and support.


Complete the Bitesize light and dark quiz.


  1. Ask the children to create their own investigation question, involving different sources of light (eg does the type of light source affect how well you can see?).
  2. Read The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark as a class story.
  3. Find out about nocturnal creatures.
  4. Create some day or night pictures using an image editor on the computer.


Ask the children to collect pictures of light sources and to bring them into school. Use the pictures to create a class collage.

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