Torches and colour

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This series of interactive demonstrations provided by ASE enables teachers to reinforce ideas relating to light. The concepts of light can be regarded as complex, but these resources will clarify the key learning points.

A suite of interactive features on the different concepts of light show:

* Torch lights being added (to demonstrate colour names, appearances and addition of colours)

* Viewing a scene through red, blue or green coloured filters

* Viewing a fruit bowl display in different coloured lights (to demonstrate the appearance of different coloured objects in different coloured lights).

These could be used by teachers as plenary or revision activities to reinforce the different ideas associated with light. All the features can be accessed from one entry screen where five options to choose from will be presented. They could be used with an interactive white board, digital projector or with groups around an individual computer. It is recommended that some practical light experiments are tried in class before using this.

The concepts of colour addition, subtraction and reflection can be easily confused, so a teacher may choose to focus on just one feature at a time. The materials can be discussed verbally, or a teacher could create result recording sheets to use with these activities.

If used by students independently, the torch lights feature would work particularly well to reinforce the names of colours (since it also incorporates speech) whilst developing the students' fine motor skills through controlling the mouse. The filters examples demonstrate that only certain colours can pass through a filter. For example, when looking through a blue filter at a red object it will appear very dark and possibly black. This is because red light cannot pass through a blue filter.

You can try this with real filters but it is hard to get pure colours so the results are not always perfectly clear; therefore the interactive demonstration will clarify the key learning objectives. The fruit bowl deals with the principle of the reflection of light from objects and why they appear to have a particular colour.

Acknowledgements The torch lights feature was donated by Simon Evans who has his own SEN Teacher Resources website at  SEN Teacher Resources website . The other features were donated by Sandy Wilkinson.

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

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