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Topic: Sound, Light And Dark


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:) Hi there everyone, I was wondering if I could see if anyone is doing a similar topic next term to me as to share ideas, planning etc rather than reinventing the wheel.


I have to work alongside Year 1 but I can do my own activities so next term my topic was light and dark. I was thinking of having a roleplay in the woods with sleeping bags and torches etc to explore hibernation, light and dark etc etc.


has anyone done light and dark or sound as a topic or know of any similar medium term planning i could get some initial ideas from??





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My initial response is to gather some books to use as a springboard - 'Kipper's Monster', 'Peace at Last' - err.....blank!


Off you go, and the rest of you! Why does my brain always go dead at the wrong moment - I'm not that old, am I Linda, etc ?? :o


Sue :D

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I think light and dark is quite a popular topic in Year 1 - am I right in thinking it fits in with the QCA guidelines? But that isn't much help to you is it? I think your sleeping bag/wood/torch idea sounds FAB.


I can only think of light boxes (v. expensive) but do you share one with a cluster? STORIES: Owl Babies, The Owl who was afraid of the dark and in The Tiger who Came to tea there is a lovely night picture when they have to go out to the cafe because the tiger has eaten all the food. I think stories can be a great starting point for topic ideas.


Have fun!

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thanks, i normally look for some good books i can base the topic around, so will look on amazon for some good stories. I thought I could link divali and bonfire night quite easily with this topic!! I dont know, as soon as this term is nearly done we are thinking straight away about the next!!!!!!!! guaranteed i will wake up at some ridiculous time in the morning with an idea!!!!!


thanks again



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park in the dark,

rise and shine first look at light (simon godwin),

owl who was afriad of the dark(I think)

cant you sleep little bear


Ive used all these books for this topic.


Pleae do something about road safety and being seen at night..greta for investigating reflective materials under that blanket..

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what about investigating things that give/dont give light...?

relfective materials is a must like Mundia says

doing a walk around school to find sources of light

light/dark colour mixing in creative dev starting with bol of red in middle and gradually adding back/white in concentrice circles or lines


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Have you seen the Little Book of light and shadow from Featherstone? It is really good and lots of ideas. The isbn is:1904187810 and the phone number for featherstone is 01858881212


just looked inside and the isbn is different to the one shown on the back!!

inside the number ends with 811!!


Either way, I have used this book quite a bit with nursery and reception children and I think it's good.

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We are doing 'colour & light' next half term, which obviously will have to incorporate 'dark' aswell, as the opposite of 'light'.

As we're (in FS) trying to break away from over-prescribed set topics, we're trying a radical (for us!) approach to planning, by asking the children about light (& dark) & colour. It was decided that, instead of asking the children what they know about (insert topic), we should simply as them 'what is...', noting down their comments as a mind-map kind of thing to ascertain what they are interested in, & therefore what we should be planning. The idea with this is that there is less chance of one child simply leading the conversation about what we know. Not sure if this is making sense? Em... No, I can't think of an example, so I have to hope you understand where I'm coming from with this.

Anyway, what I was getting to (having been around the houses!) is that we haven't planned for next half-term yet, as we will be working with the children on planning during the first week back. Since the topic has been done before, there are already plans in place, so it's not like we're going in completely cold, but we're trying to be flexible.

All I've thought about so far is the following:


Using our new (still to be constructed) outdoor playhouse as a dark room, by blocking out the windows, & putting torches inside;

Putting torches in the tent, with different coloured cellophane to cover the lens - not sure whether this will work, but putting paper of some sort over the torch with shapes cut out of the centre, e.g. a star, to project the shape/picture on to the walls (I'm planning on trying this out first);

Making stained glass windows to put up at the windows;

Having the playhouse decked out for Christmas, hopefully to include fairy lights run off a battery;

Water tray: light water (no colouring) & murky water, maybe using compost to dye it so as not to dye children's hands - with objects in the water - how well can we see the objects? Then use clear trays pressed in to the water to try & see objects better;

Colour paddles for general experiments & colour mixing by overlapping colours;

Colour mixing with paints & making light/dark shades of one colour;

Might do a bedtime story event (including fund-raising) to look at when it's really dark, not made dark by artificial means;

Animals which come out in the daytime or at night time;


The following stories:

Can't you sleep little bear;

Peace at last;

What's that noise;

Zigby camps out;

Owl babies;

Laura's star;

This is the bear & the scary night;

The other goose (great for looking at reflection)

The lighthouse keeper's... (whatever from that range)


(that was the light lot, now here's the coloured lot):


Big red bath;

The blue balloon;

Percival the plain caterpillar;

Joseph & his Amazing Technicolour Dream coat (I'm R.E coordinator now :o )

Little red riding hood;

Chameleon (I'm not sure if that's what it's called - it's got a holographic kind of chameleon on the front cover);

Brown bear, brown bear what do you see;

The rainbow fish


That's all for now. Hope it's not too garbled!

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Well, ellie, I think that sounds fantastic!!! Wish I was one of your children!!


Could you see if someone from the local theatre (if you have one) would come in to show the children stage lights and gobos etc? Or, probably better, arrange for the children to visit to look at lighting and FX (sorry, special effects)? I know the Nottingham Playhouse have backstage tours on a regular basis so commercial theatres should be OK on the H&S side. You could round the whole thing off with a trip to the pantomime!!


Not that your ideas really need improving on!


Let us know how it all goes, I especially like the idea of taking the lead from your children


Sue :D

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With this topic we have used an old ohp to great effect. The children can explore shadows using a wide variety of objects, magnetic letters and numbers, templates and can experience moving projector closer to or further away from the wall to make bigger or smaller. They can use their hands to make shadows too like we did when we were little (I can only do a rabbit tho!). If they wrote a word eg their name, liked a shape etc. a piece of paper can be blutacked to the wall and they can trace their image off (again a physical experience as they need to keep themselves out of the way of the light as they can make a shadow too). This also helps them experience small (from the object on the ohp) to the size of the image they trace off!

Hope this helps.

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hi me again!!


just been thinking of some appropriate songs


so far,


this little light of mine

hey diddle diddle, cat and the fiddle, cow jumped over the moon?!


any ideas that link to light dark, diwali???

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We sing

'One little candle burning bright

Lights up the sky on Divali night

Candle light is so much fun

We could do with another one'

'Two little candles' etc etc

Don't remember where we found it. Aso trying to place the tune - it's a well known rhyme

Sorry probably not much use!


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if you can get hold of a copy of scholastics 100 science lessons for year R. There are some fab ideas for science based activities related to light and sound.

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