Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spotlight Shadow Play

Invitation to Explore a Projectors:

We are fortunate enough to have have come across three different kinds of projectors and the kids love checking them out. Our first investigation of a projector was opening up the old school projector and taking a look inside, if you want to check out that project here it is.

Our second projector is a handy little view master projector that the kids LOVE to work with on their own. They like to set up "movies" in the building area with the Disney reels or create shadow puppet shows with some hand puppet tricks Josh taught them.

Today we are exploring a third projector on loan to us from Lori. This projector is the kind you can stake out in the yard to project holiday themed images on the side of the garage. It's pretty handy for making a large spotlight on the wall and it's perfect for shadow play.

Before starting our spotlight project we took the projector apart to examine its parts. The children noticed there was a magnifying glass, a light bulb and a small transparent disk with an image mounted inside of the projector. We discussed how the light moves through the transparent image and the magnifying glass to cast a larger image on the wall. After examining all the parts of the inside of the projector we plugged it in to see how it worked.

While investigating the projector I positioned it in front of the magnetic board to create a makeshift screen. We slid the projector back and forth across the floor, as it moved the children noticed that the image became larger or smaller depending on it’s proximity to the screen. They also noticed that we slid it too far or too close to the screen, the image became distorted and difficult to identify.  

Materials for Spotlight Shadow Play:

Spotlight, color paddles, transparent letters, small acrylic mirrors and large acrylic magnifying glass

After seeing how the projector worked with the transparent disks we decided to experiment with the projector as a spotlight. The children shadow danced and experimented with size by making their shadows larger or smaller. They looked for the letters of their names in the transparent letter collection and cast colored shadows on various different objects with the color paddles. They noticed that the colored shadows showed up better on lighter images and that they colored shadows disappeared completely on black surfaces.

We experimented by bouncing light off of mirrors, passing light through magnifying glasses and creating colored shadows different surfaces.

They noticed a prism effect on the magnifying glasses as light shown through them and they moved their rainbows around the room.

1 comment :

  1. I love seeing my little ones shadow. Anytime you want to practice shadow pics, she's your model!