Light and dark

Assessment focuses

AF2, AF3, AF4


The class shared the book, Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? The pupils were keen to communicate and then investigate their ideas to help Little Bear in the dark cave.

Little Bear is afraid of the dark and Big Bear provides lanterns of increasing size to light up their cave. Finally, they go outside and Big Bear shows Little Bear the Moon.

The pupils were asked to brainstorm the names of some light sources. They each then chose five or more of them to make drawings and to order them, from the brightest to the dimmest.

In the following lesson, without any initial discussion, they were given four pictures of light sources to sequence.

Waddell, M. illustrated by Firth, B (2005) Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? Walker Books Ltd., UK

The evidence

Worksheet with child’s hand-drawn work to illustrate light sources

The worksheet is titled 'Light sources'. Down the centre of the page is a vertical line, labelled ‘dimmest’ at the top and ‘brightest’ at the bottom.The child has drawn and coloured in a spotted circle and a rectangle topped with a triangle. These are attached to the line at the label ‘dimmest’. Below the circle, the teacher has written ‘disco ball’, ‘Does it give off any light?’ and ‘yes’. The child has also drawn a sun (labelled ‘brightest’ by the teacher) and an orange rectangle (labelled ‘dimmest’ by the teacher). These aer both attached to the bottom of the line, where it's labelled 'brightest'.

Handout with illustrations for different kinds of light source

There are four illustrations: a sun, which is labelled as '1. Brightest'; a desk lamp, which is labelled as '2. Very bright'; a torce, which is labelled as '3. Quite bright'; and a candle, which is labelled as '4. Least bright'.

Teacher's notes

When Trenyce was prompted, encouraged and supported, she could show her understanding of this topic in different ways: verbally by sharing ideas and describing observations, presenting evidence in a template provided, and through her own drawings.

Her responses were not always correct and she often referred to an adult to seek clarification. She remembered using candles for birthday cakes and, when asked, said that they were not any good for lighting up a whole room.

Next steps

  • Use of bright and dim torches to explore things in the dark (using a very large box with various objects inside).
  • Investigating the differences between light sources and objects that reflect light.

Assessment commentary

Trenyce can begin to order objects according to their features and can use a fixed format to present a conclusion based on previous learning. She is beginning to show awareness of links between ideas developed at school and her prior experiences at home.