If you're looking for a fascinating and simple start to your study of optics and lenses, consider pinholes. They're are a great way to start your optics investigations. If you've never studied pinholes you're in for a treat! With a bit of foil and a desk lamp you can make pictures on a screen. Kids are fascinated by this phenomenon and happy to explore over and over. Pinholes act like convex lenses. Activity includes a one-page reading that can be used as a student reading or teacher read-aloud. Reading includes questions and sample answers. Also included are cards for Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) that can be used in a variety of ways.
Use this to learn and reinforce answers to questions such as:
- What happens when you put a pinhole in front of a bright scene?
- What will a pinhole show when placed in front of a screen?
- How can you set up a pinhole to show a scene?
Once students try this activity, they can capture their observations using the included Lab Notes or probing questions included in the instructions.
- Light coming from objects can be projected onto a screen.
- A pinhole will cast an image of whatever is behind it.
- Lamps radiate or give off light.
Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.
Materials Needed Foil, Pushpin, Lamp with metal shade, Clear (unfrosted) light bulb. white cardboard screen or a plain wall.
Prep Needed Gather supplies
Teaching Time 20-30 min
Scaffolded Writing Prompts & Lab Notes
Related Labs Light and Optics