My BEST Science Activity


Title: Exploring Light

Grade Level: 4th

Objective: The students will learn how light travels through different objects.  The students will be able to identify objects as transparent, translucent, and opaque.

Source: Science Anytime




1.     Begin by discussing light, have students tell what they already know about light.

2.     Write on board the words transparent, translucent, and opaque.  Ask the students if they have heard these words before.  Discuss what each word means.

Transparent-is something that all light travels through

Translucent-is something that some light travels through

Opaque-is something that little or no light passes through

3.     Have students think of an object that would fit into each category.  Talk about these objects.

4.     Put students in to groups of three or four.  Give each group a box that contains a flashlight, construction paper, a transparency, a rock, a balloon, pieces on cloth (more than one kind of material), a cup, a piece of cardboard, and anything else that they could categorize a transparent, translucent, or opaque (The possibilities are endless).  They will also need a chart to record their findings.

5.     Include these directions in each box: Your task is to work together to discover whether each of the objects in this box is transparent, translucent, or opaque.  You will need to record which category each item belongs in on the chart provided with you box.

6.     If possible turn off the light in the classroom while they are doing this activity, it will help them see the light from their flashlight.

7.     Give the groups ten to fifteen minutes to do the activity, and then turn the light back on.  Have them put all of their items back in their box and return the boxes. 

8.     Discuss what each group found.  Have them tell items in their box that fell into each group.

9.     Ask questions to check and see it they know what transparent, translucent, and opaque mean.