Friday, 20 March 2015

How can today’s solar eclipse engage KS2 in the ‘Everyday effects of light’?

Depending on where you are, you may or may not have seen the solar eclipse today (Friday 20th March). Even if you didn’t though, you will more than likely have heard a lot about it, pictures shared on social media and experts giving advice on the best and safest ways of viewing it. It will also have captured the minds of many students too.

What better day for our new mystery to come out? It is called Jenny’s Shadow and is targeted directly at the national science curriculum of England, but also touches on the English curriculum too.

It’s a perfect way to introduce students to the curriculum topics of ‘Everyday effects of light’ and ‘periodic changes’. This is in two ways:
  1. the relevance, due to this morning’s exciting and nationwide event – there’s even one slip specifically about the solar eclipse
  2. the story, which involves a young girl called Jenny, who runs an experiment on shadows with her friends
Students are asked to solve the mystery of why Jenny has lost her shadow. To do this, they work in pairs to read slips of illustrated information, group them, then lay them out on the screen. They not only develop understanding through the facts provided, but also are given the ideal setting for collaboration, discussion and problem-solving skills.

If you want to try this task, there are three ways:
  • iPad: Search 'Digital Mysteries Science' on the App Store now or click here
  • Windows: If you don’t have iPads, try our free trial for PCs and laptops – it works for 28 days and there is no obligation after that - click here
  • Paper task: Email with subject ‘Jenny Shadow paper’ and I’ll send you a PDF to try out
We also have a free app for History, Maths and PSHE: Digital Mysteries KS2.

Natalie Taylor

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