Monday, November 15, 2010

Elusive Shadows

Shadows have long held a mysterious and
elusive quality; giving rise to many a folk lore and frightful story. In fact, at one time, many
cultures believed shadows held mystical meaning. Some thought that
an unattended shadow was that of a ghost, a flicker of a life unable to end for some
reason. An alternative construct was that shadows were in fact a representation of God's presence around an object.
Whatever their meaning, it is a well known fact that children are
intrigued by shadows as they weave around them in the playground or
follow them in the classroom.
Even at a very young age, when engaging in shadow exploration the children construct an understanding of the principles of shadows.
What does a child think when he looks at his shadow? Does he understand that the shadow is caused because his body obstructs a light beam?

Around the age of four children begin to make their own theories on the why and hows of shadows.
They begin to notice that their shadows moves as they do.
They see that the length of the shadow is impacted by the position of the light source.
Colourful shadows are formed by translucent objects.
Black shadows are formed by opaque objects.

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