Diwali festival of light
Ideas and activities which can be linked to Diwali including: investigating shadows, creating shadow puppets, using spectroscopes and colour wheels to study light and colour, exploring electrical circuits and making lava lamps.
Links and Resources
A host of lesson plans, practical activities all about light. Identify sources of light, how light travels and create shadows, then investigate light reflection, white light and the speed of light.
In this cross curricular activity, children learn about light and shadows by creating shadow puppets which tell the story of a myth or legend. Teacher’s notes provide a step by step guide to creating the shadow puppets, showing how to create moving parts; it also shows how to set up a shadow theatre to tell the story using everyday materials. The stories behind Diwali are a great background to study shadows. Children could design a shadow puppet theatre and retell the story for their friends or parents, perhaps moving the demon king closer to the light source to make him big and scary and Hanuman further away to show the difference in size.
This set of eight enquiry-based activities aimed at 8-10 year olds allows pupils to study light and colour using spectroscopes and colour wheels. Pupils work individually or in groups to build a spectroscope that can be used to look at light sources. They look at the composition of white light and how complex colours are made up of combinations of the three basic colours (red, green and blue). They can then make their own complex colours by mixing basic colours in a colour wheel, and can make white light with a colour wheel containing all the colours of the rainbow.
A variety of electrical circuits are used to make a clown with a nose that lights up and a bow tie that spins. Children use a range of components that include wire, batteries, buzzers, lights and switches. Teacher guidance gives information on the materials required, scientific context and an outline of the activity.
Coloured water and oil are poured into a container and they separate according to their densities. The oil on top when an effervescent tablet is added reacts with the water to produce carbon dioxide gas which pushes out through the oil, creating a lava lamp effect.
This demonstration could be carried out in class with children offering explanations of what they observe.
In this multi-lesson project pupils design and code a computer game. It uses a rainforest theme but can be adapted to any topic such as Diwali.