Light Lesson Plans for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade

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Are you looking for some light lesson plans for your third, fourth, or fifth grade class? You’ve come to the right place!

Ms. Sneed Prepares Light Lesson Plans

Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, looked over the light unit she purchased from Teachers pay Teachers. “How much time should we spend on this?” she asked her teammate, Mr. Frank.

Grab this set of light energy resources for your third, fourth, or fifth grade classroom!

Mr. Frank sat down in front of the computer. “I can see spending one or two weeks on it. Let’s generate ideas for 5-day and 10-day light lesson plans.”

“Okay. You type. I’ll go through the activities.”

5-Day Light Lesson Plans

“If we use the main activities as stations, we could do it in five days,” Ms. Sneed told Mr. Frank.

Day #1 – Pretest

“On the first day, we could administer the pretest. That way, we get a handle on students’ current understanding,” said Mr. Frank.

Day #2 – Stations

“Then on Day 2, we can do the activities as stations. Students would spend 10 to 15 minutes at each center. Then they’d make generalizations to discover energy concepts on their own.”

Light stations let kids explore how light travels; which materials are transparent, translucent, and opaque, reflection, refraction, and color.

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Day #3 – Cementing Concepts

“The next day, we’d use videos and websites to ward off misconceptions and deepen understanding.”

Day #4 – Review

“Then we will use the flashcards from the light unit or games to review vocabulary and concepts.”

Day #5 – Posttest

“Although the actual learning sequence would only be three days, I think we’d be ready to administer a parallel assessment on the fifth day,” said Ms. Sneed.

“Then compare results to the pretest and celebrate kids’ growth!” exclaimed Mr. Frank.

10-Day Light Lesson Plans

“Now let’s type up plans for using the activities as labs instead of stations,” said Ms. Sneed.

“Okay. And after each lab, we can show a video to reinforce the concept,” added her colleague.

Day #1 – Pretest

“Let’s stick with the pretest on the first day. I can even see administering it on the same day that we give the posttest from our current unit.”

“That’s a great idea,” said Mr. Frank. “It would give us another day for the extension activities.”

Day #2 – How Does Light Travel?

“In their first lab, students use mirrors and flashlights to discover that light travels in a straight line. We have enough equipment to do this in science lab groups. We’d be okay.”

These light lesson plans include five labs. In the first set of activities, kids explore how light travels. They're perfect for third grade, fourth grade, or fifth grade.
Day #3 – Which Materials Are Transparent, Translucent, and Opaque?

“On this day, students use a flashlight and a baggie full of materials, kids determine which are transparent, translucent, and opaque,” said Ms. Sneed.

“I can see the pros and cons to this configuration,” said Mr. Frank. “Doing the activities as labs allows us to focus on one concept each day. However, we’d need a lot more materials. For example, for this lab, we’d need six sets of materials. If we did it as stations, we’d only need one.”

Ms. Sneed looked thoughtful. “True. But we can keep the materials from year to year. Furthermore, we could switch the order and share between classrooms.”

The second light lab asks kids to investigate materials that are transparent, translucent, and opaque.
Day #4 – Which Materials Reflect Light?

“On to Day 4. Again, kids shine a flashlight on a variety of everyday materials. They determine which absorb and which reflect light.”

In the third light lab, students explore which surfaces reflect light.
Day #5 – What Is Refraction?

“On the fifth day, kids complete a set of simple activities that demonstrate how light bends.”

The fourth station in this set of light lesson plans asks kids to explore refraction.
Day #6 – What Is Color?

“And on the sixth day, they use a prism, a CD, and bubbles illustrate how white light can be separated into the visible spectrum.”

In the fifth activity in this set of light lesson plans, kids explore color.
Day #7 – Light Reading

“After completing the activities, students read about light and its characteristics,” Ms. Sneed said as she paged through the materials.

“Great!” replied Mr. Frank. “We love double duty activities. This one incorporates informational text with science.”

Day #8 – More Exploration

“Hey, with the 10-day plan, we gain an extra day. We could choose to make white light, separate colors with chromatography, or play with shadows.”

“I’d like to take time for these no matter what,” said Mr. Frank. “Whether we use stations or labs, these give us the opportunity to include inquiry and a fair test.”

The extensions in this set of light lesson plans include making white light, chromatography, and shadows.
Days #9 & #10 – Review & Assessment

“Finally, we’d review and assess,” said Ms. Sneed.

“Well, what do you think?” asked Mr. Frank.

“Regardless of our decision, I’m glad that we now have these lesson plans to keep us organized.”

Enjoy Teaching

Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.

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