Light Fantastic KS1

Light Fantastic KS1

Poor little Bear can’t sleep because of the dark (‘Can’t you sleep Little Bear?’ by Martin Waddell.)  Choose objects that will make light for him, and explore light sources, shadows, mirrors, colour and colour mixing and lenses.


Workshop plus Museum visit up to 4 hours, or outreach session (2 or 3 sessions of 1½ hours each)

Workshop outline

The workshop develops children’s understanding of the need for light in order to see things. It is based around the story ‘Can’t you sleep Little Bear?’ by Martin Waddell. Little Bear can’t sleep because of the dark. We start with an extract from the story and children choose objects that will make light for him.

We then compare these light sources and demonstrate the equipment and ideas that the children can explore.

In the main part of the session, pupils investigate a range of equipment that will enable them to explore light and colour, shadows, reflections, toys that use mirrors, colour mixing, lenses, microscopes, periscopes and rainbows.

With a Museum visit, the children then have exclusive use of our fantastic light interactives.

In the plenary we discuss what pupils have learned. After lunch, if you are on site, we have a short tour of the Museum and do art and craft activities using things that glitter, glow and sparkle with light!

Learning Objectives

  • By the end of the workshop most pupils will understand that
  • There are many sources of light
  • Light sources vary in brightness
  • It is dangerous to look at very bright lights
  • Light sources can be compared
  • Darkness is caused by the absence of light
  • Light travels from a source
  • Shadows are formed when light is blocked
  • Shiny objects do not make light

National Curriculum Links

Science Year 1

  • observe and name a variety of sources of light, including electric lights, flames and the Sun associate shadows with a light source being blocked by something.

Suggestions for pre-visit preparation

Before the visit it would be helpful if you could read the story ‘Can’t You Sleep Little Bear’ by Martin Waddell to your class and discuss the story. You could focus in particular on any issues it raises about being afraid of the dark. Suggestions for post-visit activities A list of suggested post-visit activities is available here: Light Fantastic KS1 Post-visit Activities

Feedback and evaluation

We will give you an evaluation form to complete at the end of the workshop. Please complete this as fully as you can. Your feedback is very much appreciated and is used to ensure that future workshops meet the learning needs of your students.

Telegraph Museum