Light is magic—complete and total magic! We started our exploration of light and shadow with just the overhead projector turned on in the darkened studio and a few friends at a time. Then we projected the light onto the wall and waited for friends to notice it. After a while, we added animals to the OHP, which cast shadows. Later we added colored elements.
These are overheard comments from the children as they investigated:
There’s a light!
It’s a light machine.
Where’s the light coming from?
Something’s in it, but I don’t know what it is.
I can’t go in there. [inside the overhead projector]
Because we’re too big to go in there.
Oh! I see a light on the wall.
It’s behind you.
I see a light shadow!
That light is really—well—that light is BIG.
(looking in the reflecting mirror) Hey! I can see ME in there!
It’s making a rainbow on the top.
I’m a big giant shadow.
The animals light up. (takes animals off) They’re gone. (puts animals back) They’re back. (repeats several times.)
Where is that hand coming from?
It’s coming from him (points to friend who is putting animals on and off.)
Let’s see the jewels on there.
I want to be in the orange one.
Make it do that thing again.
Let’s put them all on there.
Where did the elephant go?
Why does the giraffe look different?
Now it’s on the roof!
I’m stomping it on the floor.
It’s so beautiful.
It's a beautiful shadow.