Thursday, 8 August 2013

Optics Resources

     Last week I shared with you the resources that I had compiled for my Grade 8 Science Unit: Cells & Systems. In similar fashion to my Grade 7 Science class, Grade 8 Science is composed for four units that are covered throughout the school year. The second of these units is Optics. The video below is one of my favourite videos I found to use in this unit, it is created by Mr. Parr who has some amazing science songs.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Song. (2011). Uploaded to YouTube by Mr.Parr. Available online at:

     I specifically planned out this unit so that it could be covered in November/December because it is the time of the school year where it is most likely to be getting darker in the afternoon. Since so many of the labs involve lights and requiring the classroom to be truly dark, I wanted to plan it for when it would be the easiest to have a dark classroom!

Intro to Optics
Enduring Understanding: Light is a form of energy that starts at a source when electrical, thermal, chemical, or nuclear energy is transformed to radiant energy.
8-2-01     Use appropriate vocabulary related to their investigations of optics. 
                Include: spectrum; additive theory; subtractive theory; frequency;
                wavelength; refraction; concave and convex mirrors and lenses; terms
                related to types of light sources, types of electromagnetic radiation, and
                the law of reflection.
8-2-02     Differentiate between incandescent and luminescent sources of light.
                Include: fluorescent, phosphorescent, chemiluscent, bioluminescent.
8-2-03     Demonstrate that light is a form of energy, that light travels in a straight
                line, and can be separated into the visible light spectrum.

Enduring Understanding: Colour is the term associated with the frequency of a light wave in the visible light spectrum and is explained through two theories: the additive colour theory and the subtractive colour theory.
8-2-04     Explain, using the additive theory, how colours are produced, and identify
                applications of this theory in daily life.
8-2-05     Explain how the human eye detects colour. and how the ability to perceive
                colour may vary from person to person.
8-2-06     Demonstrate, using the subtractive theory, how colours are produced, and
                identify applications of this theory in daily life.

Electromagnetic Radiation
Enduring Understanding: Electromagnetic radiation is energy travelling at lower and higher frequencies than visible light and can provide harm and benefits to humans           
8-2-07     Compare and contrast various types of electromagnetic radiation, with
                respect to relative energy, frequency, wavelength, and human perception.
                Include: radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light,
                ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, gamma rays.
8-2-08     Provide examples of technologies that use electromagnetic radiation, and
                describe potential positive and negative impacts of their uses.

Movement of Light
Enduring Understanding: Events associated with light are highly predictable by using the model suggesting that light travels in straight lines until it is stopped (absorbed) or redirected (reflected or refracted)           
8-2-09     Conduct experiment to determine the law of reflection, and provide
                examples of the use of reflection in daily life.
                Include: the angle of reflection is the same as the angle of incidence the
                incident beam, the normal and the reflected beam are all on the same
8-2-10     Conduct experiment to compare the refraction of light through substances
                of different densities.
8-2-11     Explain how reflection and refraction produce natural phenomena.
8-2-12     Investigate to determine how light interacts with concave and convex
                mirrors and lenses, and provide examples of their use in various optical
                instruments and systems.
8-2-13     Demonstrate the formation of images using a double convex lens, and
                predict the effects of changes in lens position on the size and location of
                the image.
8-2-14     Compare the functional operation of the human eye to that of a camera

                focusing an image.

     In addition to hard-copy resources I have available in the school and from colleagues, I also started to organize some online resources to supplement our classroom activities. Here are the resources I found, organized by the themes I stated above. For each one I've included the title, a very brief point about what it includes, and the link. 

Intro to Optics

Bioluminescent Bays
- Get students to question why
- Article, good basis for further research

The Brilliance of Bioluminescence Ted ED Lesson
- Video, article, questions, and discussion
- Explains Bioluminescence

Mountain Dew Glow Stick Lab
- Chemiluminesnce
- Recreate in the classroom

Electric Pickle Lab
- Shows that light is energy
- Recreate in the classroom

Transmit Sound using Light Demonstration
- Show that light is energy, light travels in straight lines
- Really neat demonstration


What is Colour Ted ED Lesson
- Video, article, questions & discussion
- Colour is the frequency of the light waves

Colour Theory
- Article & charts, good background information

Colour Theory Simulation
- Good for large group activity on SMART board

Colour Mixing Interactive Lab
- Super simple and short

Gummy Bear Light Absorption Lab
- Edible lab center activity
- Need green and red laser pointers & flashlights

Liquid Light
- Chemiluminesnce
- Shows the move back to white light

How We See Colour Ted ED Lesson
- Video, article, questions & discussion

Eyes are For Sight
- Sang to Tonight is the Night: Outtasight

Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic Spectrum Song
- Covers all aspects of the spectrum
- Sang to Hey Baby: Pitbull

EM Spectrum Interactive
- Could be a large-group activity on the SMART Board or
  a lab activity on the iPads

Movement of Light

Reflection & Refraction of Light Notes
- Teacher Resource or can be left for a sub

Light & Colour Song
- Good for very end of the unit review
- Sang to The Fighter: Gym Class Heros

Cool Laser Reflection Game
- Need to move light using mirror, double mirrors, refractors, etc
- Good for if kids are done early or as a center option

Liquid Light Lab
- Light moving through different densities


I hope you find these resources as awesome as I do! 
If there is something you think I should add to my list let me know, I'd love to hear about the awesome things you are using with your class :)

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