Light and Colour

The term has not quite fizzled out completely but aware if I don’t start recording our project work I am going to look back and think that it did.

Science was a fairly ‘light’ topic – ha!  What I mean is that we weren’t dealing with anything particularly new or difficult.  More a hands on playing, reinforcing ideas time.

We continue to use the book The Way Science Works as our base.  Reading the content and doing as many of the experiments as possible.  We’re joined by friends for some of the experiments which helps keep it fun.

Not as many photos as I’d like.  Exploring light involves using hands to hold torches and prisms etc and it’s hard to photograph torch beams in the dark.

We started off looking at reflection and refraction by playing with convex and concave lenses.

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20141217_4We explored shadows with puppets.


Then we moved on to looking at how eyes and cameras work.

We explored optical illusions with the tube to the eye, making a hole in the hand trick.   With plenty of time playing on here later.  Looked at how microscopes work.

20141125_22We built a tissue box camera to limited success.
20141125_26We had another go with this Camera Obscura kit to more impressive results.

20141212_820141212_10We finished with a look at colour.  We split light with a prism and did some chromatography.

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Talking about colours, rainbows and the light spectrum led to making a waldorf star.

20141212_28And colour mixing led on to these.  Cut 6 triangles from black card.  Cover 2 with blue cellophane, 2 with yellow and 2 with red cellophane.  Combine the triangles to make stars.



Winter Rhythms

Bit of a mixed bag last week.

In one way it was a busy one, friends round 2 days, to a friend’s another, a few hours out with Grandad on another and finished the week with the Dockyard’s Festival of Christmas.  Plus, of course, Cubs, Gang Show and first Christmas party of the season.  However, only the Festival took us outside our immediate area so by some weeks standards felt bit more relaxed.

Education wise, part of me thinks we’ve got it right; work is completed in a reasonable time, Sam’s largely enthusiastic and we’ve a nice balance between worksheet/curriculum stuff, use of computers, playing, hands on stuff and reading and discussion.  Of course the other part worries we’re not doing enough…

Colds and bugs are also starting to hit.  House is full of sneezes and wheezes.

Few photos of the week.

Skate park

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Playing with lenses for science, making microscopes and cameras.

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We also had fun with optical illusions, the rolled up paper tube making a hole in your hand trick went down well, and later in the week we had some fun exploring this site.


Art was Monet’s Bridge at Argenteuil.  We focused on the reflections.  Dividing paper in half drew scene on a bank on one side with oil pastels – Sam did bathers.  Then the paper was folded in half and rubbed the back of a spoon over the paper to leave a print on the other side.  Unfortunately skin colour didn’t work well.  A blue watercolour wash was painted over the top as the sky and a watered down wash over the bottom as the river.  Ripples were added with the darker blue.


We continued reading about WW1, focusing on trench warfare.  We also junk modelled a trench system for the Airfix WW1 British and German Infantry to fight on.


Entirely self motivated he built a trench system in Minecraft.

Festival of Christmas probably should have a post in it’s own right, but it was no where near as good as previous years and with Sam not feeling well we headed off even before the lights of the Warrior were on.  So have a photo gallery instead.


Science play

Life is all about looking on the bright side.  Tuesday was a miserable, wet day but looking for positives it made it dark,  which when you want to play with torches and shadows is very helpful.

We were starting this half term’s science project on light and colour.

First experiment was looking at angles of reflection.

20141113_6We the moved on to refraction.  We sent directed beams through convex and concave lenses to see the bend in the rays.  One of those jobs that required too many hands for photographing.  However they discovered a far better way of illustrating the effect of refraction by playing with the lenses and torches.  Self discovery is always best.

Shining a torch directly through a convex lens shows how the light is refracted to a focus in the centre.


While shining it through a concave lens refracts the light away from the centre.20141115_18Our science session finished with lots of play with shadow puppets.

20141113_18 20141113_19 20141113_10Inspired use of one of my chairs to make a prison.