Light is for Seeing!

In the Light is for Seeing Activity, elementary students come to understand the fundamentals of how light allows us to see. Students build a Classroom Cave and engage in an investigation to refine their understanding of how light illuminates objects and allows us to see them. Students predict, test, change a variable and test again, to learn the process of science along with the content: light allows us to see.

Grade Range: 1 to 5

Duration: 1/2 Hour – 1 Hour


  • A very dark closet or items to build one (blankets, large boxes)
  • Flashlights
  • Construction paper
  • Aluminum foil and scissors

NGSS Connections

PS4-B Electromagnetic Radiation:

  • Make observations to construct an evidence based account that objects in darkness can only be seen when illuminated. (1-PS4-2)

Cross Cutting Concepts:

  • Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence to support or refute student ideas about causes.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • Objects can be seen if light is available to illuminate them or if they give off their own light.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Make observations to construct and evidence based account for natural phenomena
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