Developing Language in Primary Science/Using Light

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Developing language using light (SC0030)


In Key Stages 1 and 2, science is often taught in specific science topics or as part of a larger, broader theme. In such topics and themes there are opportunities for the whole class to be involved together. A variety of approaches is possible and discussion between the children and with the teacher is enhanced. Once the focus for the topic or theme has been identified, appropriate teaching and learning activities can be planned. The opportunities for language development are best highlighted at this stage, because this draws attention to the resources required and the experiences to provide. Here is an example:

Focus for enquiry: LightKey Stage 2: Year 4


Teaching point Teaching/Learning activities Opportunities for language development
Light travels from a source - Look and compare a collection of light sources.

- Consider how we can tell that light travels from these sources

- Talk about and describe different sources of light suggested by the class

- Creative writing: ‘If I could see around corners…’

Light cannot pass through some materials and this leads to the formation of the shadows - Identify some objects which make shadows and some which do not- Create, observe and compare shadows

- Investigate shadow lengths in relation to the position of, and distance from, the light source- Make a sun stick

- Construct a shadow theatre

- Talk about how shadows are formed, using specific vocabulary (transparent, translucent, opaque)

- Make comparisons, ‘If I move the object further away, the shadow becomes…’

- Discuss a plan for the investigation and decide what is to be done and by whom- Find out more about the motion of the sun and the earth- Write a script for a short play and present it to the rest of the class

Light is reflected from surfaces, e.g. mirrors, polished metals. - Look at a collection of reflective materials and objects including road safety reflectors

- Look at reflections in mirrors, mirror writing, mirror maze

- Articulate the difference between light sources and reflectors

- Use language precisely in a poster to convey road safety information

- Describe reflections and mirror writing, contrasting them with real objects and writing