Resource 4: Additional reflection activities

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Are we really two-faced?

Are the two halves of our face exactly the same? Pupils might enjoy an activity where you look at full-face passport photographs that they or you bring.

Stand a small hand mirror down the midline of the face in the photograph so that the reflected half makes one face with the uncovered half. Now do the same to the opposite side. Isn’t it amazing how different the two faces are? That is because our faces are not exactly symmetrical.

Shaking the wrong hand

Try to shake hands with your own image in a large mirror – when you hold out your right hand, it offers you its apparent left hand.

Repeat this, but this time, arrange two mirrors at right angles. Look into the corner and you will see one image of yourself. Offer to shake hands.

What hand does the image in the two mirrors offer this time?

Can you work out why this happens?

Using reflection

Brainstorm uses of mirrors:

  • Which devices contain mirrors?
  • Where are they useful?
  • How could mirrors be useful in a shop to help security?

Scary reflections

Experiment with looking at reflections in curved pieces of metal like spoons and kettles.

  • What happens to the reflection?
  • What patterns can you notice?

Light and dark

Gather together a collection of different shiny materials and objects. Experiment with looking at them:

  • in normal classroom light;
  • in a ‘black box’ where there is very little light;
  • when a torch is shone on them.

Which objects are the shiniest? Can you put them in order of shininess? What happens when you put them in the box? What happens when you shine a torch on them? Can you see any patterns in your observations?

Resource 3: Information on light

Resource 5: Ideas for creating shadow puppets