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Light Energy Unit | Hands-on Science Activities & Assessment | Grade 3, 4, 5

Brenda Kovich
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Activity
54 pages
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Brenda Kovich
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.

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Learning Objective

Students will understand the properties of light.


At home or school, third, fourth, or fifth grade students explore light concepts with five sets of hands-on activities. This energy unit includes lesson plans, lab sheets, video links, flash cards, review sheet, assessment, and extension activities.

To engage students with science during blended or distance learning, three digital options are included:

  • A parallel webpage shows parents how to do the activities at home. A link to the webpage is included in this resource and can also be purchased separately.
  • You can create Easel Activities and share them with your students online. To make your life easier, student pages have been customized with answer boxes. They can respond by typing, writing, drawing, and highlighting.

Students in grade 3, 4, or 5 explore scientific concepts through hands-on exploration. Then they make their own generalizations. A set of video links allows further exploration and clarifies concepts.

Basic Concepts Explored:

  • How Does Light Travel?
  • Which Materials Are Transparent, Translucent, and Opaque?
  • Which Materials Reflect?
  • What Is Refraction?
  • What Is Color?

For each guiding question, students conduct two or three simple (but powerful) experiments and make generalizations. Most materials are commonly found in the classroom and home. (See the preview for the entire list.)


This resource includes five engaging extension activities. Your students will love exploring colors and shadows with these active learning experiences. Color photographs make it easy for teachers to set up stations, activities, and experiments.

  • Use scientific inquiry to make white light with flashlights and colored cellophane.
  • Tape construction paper in primary colors to a CD and spin it.
  • Use washable markers to draw circles on coffee filters. Then they dip the filter in water to see what happens. Using a fair test brings added value to this chromatography activity.
  • Make animal shape shadows with your hands.
  • Explore shadows and the position of the sun. Students draw one another's shadows every few hours. For more fun, play shadow tag!

Enjoy Teaching!

Brenda Kovich

Would you like to know when I post more resources? Simply follow me on TpT.

I'm committed to continual improvement. This unit was updated and enhanced on April 13, 2020.

Indiana Academic Standards for Science 3.1.4, 3.1.5, 3.1.6

Total Pages
54 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.
Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen. Assessment does not include knowledge of specific colors reflected and seen, the cellular mechanisms of vision, or how the retina works.


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