Light and Dark Project Plan


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A series of cross curriculum project plans to support the creative teaching of the Light and Dark topic for Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2.

Format: ZIP download


From the time of the Ancient Greeks, people have thought of light as a stream of tiny particles. After all, light travels in straight lines and bounces off a mirror, much like a ball bouncing off a wall. It wasn’t until the late 17th century that the idea of the light wave was established by Christian Huygens, and further corroborated and developed in the early 19th century by Thomas Young.

Albert Einstein advanced the theory of light further in 1905. Einstein considered the photoelectric effect, in which ultraviolet light hits a surface and causes electrons to be emitted from the surface. Einstein’s explanation for this was that light was made up of a stream of energy packets called photons. Modern physicists believe that light can behave as both a particle and a wave, but they also recognise that either view is a simple explanation for something more complex.

Many subjects in the National Curriculum include the study of light and dark – the most obvious being science. However the topic can be effectively used as a foundation for literacy, numeracy, art, history and RE lessons. In this cross curriculum project pupils can explore the theme of Light and Dark through activities and research ranging from the history of light and lighting, to Hanukkah and Diwali, the religious Festivals of Light.

Project Overview

Light and Dark Literacy Project Plans:
Light Stories (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Rainbow Rhymes (Key Stage 1)
The Vocabulary of Light (Key Stage 2)


Light and Dark Numeracy Project Plans:
Count the Lights (Key Stage 1)
Speeding Light (Key Stage 2+)


Light and Dark Science Project Plans:
Sources of Light (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Why Can’t We See in the Dark? (Key Stage 2)
Coloured Shadows (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Photosynthesis (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Through the Pinhole… (Key Stage 2)


Light and Dark History Project Plan:
The History of Light (Key Stage 2)


Light and Dark Art and Design Project Plans:
Drawing Shadows (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Kaleidoscopes (Key Stage 2)


Light and Dark Religious Education (RE) Project Plans:
Hanukkah (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Diwali (Key Stages 1 and 2)


The resource packs that accompany each activity include detailed instructions, worksheets, information factsheets, research resources, images and more.


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