Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • Children will learn that a shadow is made when an object blocks the light. 
  • The size of a shadow is changed when an object is moved closer to or farther away from the light.
  • Children will learn to make many different shadows using their bodies. 

Books : (In kit)
I Have a Friend by Keiko Narahashi 
Shadows by Carolyn B. Otto (comes with a booklet) 
Shadow Night by Kay Chorao 
Bear Shadow by Frank Asch 
Shadow Magic by Seymour Simon

Equipment:  (In kit)
  Event Kit (pages) from “Peep and the Big Wide World 
  Screen for shadow puppet plays and Stand 
  sets of shadow puppets (Tortoise and the Hare; Three Billy Goats Gruff)
2   scripts for shadow puppet plays (3 copies each) 
  picture projector (with 3 AA batteries and a Philips head screwdriver, projector instructions)
1   box of sidewalk chalk
  flashlights that use C batteries (included) 
  flashlight that uses AA batteries (included)
1   basic desk lamp 

Consumables (to be supplied by you)
Copy weight paper for shadow puppets
Large craft sticks

Children will learn that a shadow is made when an object blocks the light. 
The size of a shadow is changed when an object is moved closer to or farther away from the light. 
Children will learn to make many different shadows using their bodies. 

Ask children if they know what a shadow is? 
How is it made? 
Do they have a shadow? 
Today they will get to make shadows, and explore how shadows look differently from close to a light, and from far away.

Read: I Have a Friend by Keiko Narahashi.  Lots of questions to ask children on each page.  Where is the light coming from?  Are there shadows in the water?  (YES! On a sunny day, especially in a pool.)  Ask a child to point on the page where he/she thinks the sun is. 

Read Shadows by Carolyn B. Otto.  Read the book until page 14.  Don’t memorize the next couple of pages, but use those pages to help you show the children how to make shadows up close and far away with the flashlight.  Have them stand up, facing a blank wall, and shine the light behind their hands.  Move around to make the light close or far away and ask them what they see.  Make sure you make the point that the light is blocked by their hand/body/item and the shadow is caused because we can’t see through the object; it is a dark object made by something that blocks the light. 

Take out all the flashlights and let them explore shadows with a partner, each child gets a turn holding the flashlight; each child makes the shadows.  Also have some toys, items with odd shapes, for them to use to make shadows, too. 

Set up the Desk Lamp to project onto a blank wall or screen.  Read Shadow Night by Kay Chorao When you get to the shadow story, be prepared to make and teach the animals to the children as you are telling the story.  YOU MUST PRACTICE THIS!  Take your time.  The story doesn’t have to be exactly what is written.  You are incorporating the animals and helping the children learn to do this.  Some children may not get the hang of it, but tell them that they can practice more at the end of the program and you will help anyone who needs help.  If you have a parent helper, or teen volunteer to do the hand animals, please use them. 

If it is sunny outside, you might want to bring the program outside to look at shadows and even outline some of the shadows with chalk.  Bring out the sidewalk chalk to draw shadows of natural objects like leaves, rocks, and the children.  Try and get the children to have their shadows touch – not the children themselves touching, just the shadows.  Parent helpers or teen volunteers can help with tracing shadows. 

Re-enter the library and explain that there will now be a short puppet show. As the children get settled, set up the screen and the light.  You can do this by yourself, but having a helper will be so much better!  There are two simple stories you can use.  There is the Aesop Fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”  After you do the shadow puppet play, bring out the puppets to the children.  Show them how they work with the light and the screen. 

Depending on time or how much longer children want to sit, finish up with Bear Shadow by Frank Asch.  This is a funny story, but a little long.  Shorten it as you like! You do not have to read it all! 

If children want to practice hand shadows with flashlights, the lamp or the projector, this is the time to let them explore some more.  Shadow Magic by Seymour Simon and Shadow Night can be put out to help children remember how to make the hand animals.   

They can make shadow puppets with the characters from “Peep and the Big Wide World” reproducible.  Have them put the characters on wide popsicle sticks and let them practice using the puppet stage. 

If parents want to trace shadows with sidewalk chalk outside, please encourage them to do so. 

Bookmarks : (In kit)
Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.Evaluation

Topics | About the Kits | Lending Policy

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