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Universe in the Classroom

The Welsh Government funding for Universe in the Classroom ended in June 2018. We have left this site available as an archive of the project.

Light Sources

A light source is anything that makes light, whether natural and artificial. Natural light sources include the Sun and stars.Artificial light sources include lamp posts and televisions.

Without light sources we could not see the world around us, however not every object we can see is a light source. Many objects simply reflect light from a light source.

Light Sources is an activity that invites students to investigate where light comes from, how it travels and how it can be used, before they use the power of light to explore the Universe!

Light Sources Teacher Guide

Light Sources Student Worksheet

Full Instructions

Learning Objectives
  • Learn what a light sources is.
  • Identify examples of different types of light sources: natural and artificial
  • Understand we see object because light reflects off them into our eyes.
Materials
Background Information

A light source is anything that makes light. There are natural and artificial light sources. A few examples of natural light sources include the Sun, stars and candles. A few examples of artificial light sources include light bulbs, lamp posts and televisions. Without light sources we could not see the world around us, however, not every object we see is a light source. Many objects simply reflect light from a light source, for example tables, trees and the Moon.

Step-by-Step

1) Begin this activity by asking your students to name some objects that create light. These are called light sources.

2) Write the answers on the board in three unlabelled columns: non-light sources, artificial light sources and natural light sources.

3) Discuss the difference between the objects on the board — which are natural and which are artificial. Do some of them only reflect light?

Light from the Sun includes all the colours of the rainbow. When this light hits the moon it is reflected back to Earth and enters our eyes allowing us to see the Moon.

4) Hand each student a Light Sources Worksheet and ask them to complete the first question.

5) Discuss Question 2 with the students, “How does light allow us to see other objects?” Explain what the diagram below shows (they will have a copy on their worksheet) and then ask them to explain in their own words on their worksheet.

6) Discuss Question 3, “Can rock or metal become light sources?”. Explain that even rock and metal can act as a light source if they become hot enough, direct their attention to the image a shooting star (meteor) at the bottom of their worksheet, these are both made of rock and metal but we see them shining as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Conclusion

Invite your class to discover the brightest light sources in the Universe – stars! Using LCOGT’s robotic telescopes you can take pictures of stars, galaxies and star clusters that are so bright they can be seen from billions of light years away!

KS2 Science in the Welsh National Curriculum
“How things work: how light travels and how this can be used.”