Introduction to light and dark

Home learning focus

Learn about light and dark

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help children to recognise that they need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light. Also, how light behaves with transparent, reflective and opaque objects.

  • three practise activities to help reinforce learning


In this animation Seymour and Albert explore light sources, reflections, shadows and darkness.


Light comes from a number of different places, like the sun, fire, or from electricity in lamps and torches. Without it, we cannot see anything - only darkness.

You should never look directly at the sun, even if you're wearing sunglasses, it can damage your eyes.

Light behaves differently with objects:

  • Transparent objects such as glass allow light to pass through.
  • Reflective surfaces like a mirror or a shiny spoon, bounce the light off the surface.
  • Opaque objects block the light and create shadows.

In this animation Bob and Jim race a rocket-powered car against light to see which one is fastest.

Light travels in straight lines and can pass through the air and water.

Amazing fact: Light is the fastest thing in the universe.


There are lots of fun ways to practise what you know about light.

Activity 1

Try this short game to see how much you know about light:

Activity 2

Task 1:

Walk around your house and garden and make a list of all the light sources you can find.

See who can find the most

Task 2:

Shine a torchlight on the following objects and make a note of what happens:

  • A glass of water - transparent object

  • A mug or cup - opaque object

  • A shiny spoon - reflective object

Move the torch around the objects to see how the light behaves. Write down your findings.

Activity 3

Get active with this short video.

The Super Movers Crew are in the TARDIS and have a song and routine all about light, from what is a light source to how it travels through different surfaces.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

KS2 Science
7-11 Science
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