Reggio: Investigating Light and Silhouettes

I put a wanted ad on Freecycle for a working OHP and couldn’t believe my luck when someone responded; a school teacher. For Jack and Sarah, the overhead projector somehow seems magical; how they can manipulate the shadows on the walls, how the shadows dance and play; it’s wonderful.

I first saw light used as a material in this video. I was fascinated and inspired. It was beautiful; wide-eyed children completely engrossed in the magic of light. Light, how it can be manipulated, how it manipulates other materials, is an extraordinary tool for learning and exploring, and seems quintessentially Reggio.

Watching as Jack discovers that leaves appear to change colour when exposed to light is wonderful. Watching him put the leaf on and then take it off again, I can only imagine his internal dialogue as he pieces it all together. Then seeing him connect the leaves and insects on the projector with the silhouettes on the wall, making them move, interact with each other, seeing him draw his own conclusions. It’s pure natural learning.

Overhead Projectors were common place in classrooms here in Australia. But with data projectors, they have been shoved to the back of the resources cupboards. So why not take the chance and see if your local school has one they no longer want, they truly are a wonderful tool for discovery, experimentation, fostering creativity and curiosity…endless possibilities and endless fun. Just don’t tell the school what you plan to do with it or they may just keep it for themselves!

6 thoughts on “Reggio: Investigating Light and Silhouettes

  1. Now I’m going to have to see if my mom ( a teacher) can help track one down for me! This is such a great idea, and the video WOW so many ideas from it. There will defiantly be a mirror added to Damião’s water table. I love all the wonderful ideas I’ve gathered from reading your posts. My guy is about to far behind your littlest in age…. gives me a nice little insight on activities for our soon to be future 😀

    • Good luck! I’m sure she’ll be able to find one for you. They are so wonderful. Isn’t that video just so inspiring! I’ve watched it so many times and seen something new each time. Jack and Sarah love the mirror in their water play tub. It’s just an acrylic one so it won’t break but the new dimension it adds is fascinating to watch. I’ll take some pictures next time…hmmm just need to wait for the weather to warm up 😀

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