The Early Years: Light Foundationsby: Peggy Ashbrook

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The day-and-night cycle forms the basis for understanding many other natural cycles in plants, animals, and Earth processes, as well as later learning about the solar system, and it is part of the National Science Education Content Standard D, Earth and Space Science, for grades K–4. Learning about light is part of Content Standard B: Physical Science Light, Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism. When studying this topic in early childhood, it is appropriate to focus children’s attention on the Sun and its movement across the sky through discussion and observation (AAAS 1993). The observations are indirect evidence of the Earth’s movement, a concept the children will become ready to understand in later years.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:26 AM

My 5th graders struggle with light (reflection/refraction/etc.), and this is great for the younger kiddoes to have more experience with experiencing light energy.

Julie Wylie  (Baytown, TX)
Julie Wylie (Baytown, TX)

  • on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:30 PM

This is a wonderful activity for young children to learn about how light travels. After they fully explore the bending tubes and flashlights it can help them make the connection of light coming' straight from the sun'. This is a great preschool activity. Could explore why we see shadows as well.

Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton

  • on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:33 PM

Most young children know that in the day it is light and at night it is dark. To help children understand that light travels in a straight line pairs of children are given a flexible tube and a flashlight. They play until the light one child shines into the tube can be seen by the other child. Along with this simple activity that is used to start a discussion there are several young child stories recommended.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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