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Is the moon a light source?

We need to give children lots of opportunities to demonstrate what they know. In the case of trying to elicit the misconception that the moon is a light source, we need to give children the opportunity to share with us what they think a light source is.

A good way to do this is either to get children to draw different light sources or to sort a selection of things into whether they are a source of light or not. Example below.

Different objects, sources of light, or not? Moon, Mirror, Torch, Stars in space, Candle, Television, LEDs, Glitter ball / mirror ball, Jellyfish, Glow worm, Traffic lights, Sun


Have a go at identifying which of the images are light sources.

Share any that you think children may identify incorrectly and say why.

Give an example of another picture of light which might elicit their understanding and any misconceptions.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Physics

National STEM Learning Centre