Activity Introduction

“Candles that light 

the way upstairs,

Shadows dancing.” 

Shadows dance, shadows move. Over the course of a day, it seems like the sun moves from its rising place, all the way overhead, to its setting place. But did you know it’s actually us, the earth, who moves around the sun? Our shadows lengthen and stretch and shorten and move as we rotate around, our feet firmly on the ground, the earth not stopping for anything or anyone. It can take a long time to see your shadow move from place to place. Let’s use some simple items to see it happen fast. 

Shadows are created when a light source hits and is blocked by opaque objects. Some objects do not create shadows, because they are transparent and the light sees right through them.  

Safety advice: This exercise utilises a lamp. The light bulb is hot when switched on and not to be touched directly! Be careful when using outlets. Also, be careful not to drop the lamp as cut glass could be very sharp.

Most kids will need help with this activity.

Ideal for: Early Learning Ages 3 – 5

Themes: 

  • investigate 
  • playtime 
  • chill time 
  • think and connect 

Time required: 25 minutes 

Curriculum connections: Science, Critical and Creative Thinking

Tips for Parents and Carers

At each stage of this activity, reflect on how the shadows translate to other objects.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required

Learning@Home from Cool Australia

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

About the book.

Where Happiness Hides, a picture book by Anthony Bertini, with illustrations by Jennifer Goldsmith. This is a story that shows there is a silver lining in every dark cloud. Anthony Bertini himself explains the project beautifully:

“This book will offer hope. It will be free to everyone in the world to read and enjoy as many times as they want. Yes, it is a children’s picture-book, and the story reflects what we tell our children every day: happiness can be found in simple things. But it is more than that. It is something we tell ourselves in times of hardship and worry. It is a story that helps all of us remember what is important.

“Right now, COVID-19 is forcing us to look for joy and happiness in the least obvious places. We know in our hearts that it is found in the small things. It is always there, hidden in plain sight.”

Where Happiness Hides offers us, through simple and succinct storytelling, a reminder of how these moments of happiness can be found. 

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Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Chasing Shadows - Activity Instructions

Shadows dance, shadows move. Over the course of a day, it seems like the sun moves from its rising place, all the way overhead, to its setting place. But did you know it’s actually us, the earth, who moves around the sun? Our shadows lengthen and stretch and shorten and move as we rotate around, our feet firmly on the ground, the earth not stopping for anything or anyone. It can take a long time to see your shadow move from place to place. Let's use some simple items to see it happen fast. 

Shadows are created when a light source hits and is blocked by opaque objects. Some objects do not create shadows, because they are transparent and the light sees right through them.  

Safety advice: This exercise utilises a lamp. The light bulb is hot when switched on and not to be touched directly! Be careful when using outlets. Also, be careful not to drop the lamp as cut glass could be very sharp.

Have you ever looked at your shadow and waved at it? I

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