West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject:         Light                                                       

Grade:      5

Unit:    5.1b                                                                            

Pacing:   4 Weeks

Essential Question(s):

1.     Why is a rainbow different colors?

2.     Why is the sky blue?

3.     How can you flip an object without touching it?


Big Idea(s):

·        Light is a form of energy that travels in a straight line and can be reflected and refracted.            

·        While light is made up of many colors that is reflected to the human eye.


CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

2. Investigate how light is refracted as it passes through a lens or at an angle from one transparent material to another.


1. Provide evidence that light travels in straight lines away from a source in all directions.  B INQ. 3


7. Determine whether a material is opaque, transparent or translucent based on how light passes through it.  B INQ. 5


8. Design and conduct light absorption experiments that vary the size, length, direction and clarity of a shadow by changing the position of the light-blocking object or the light source.  B INQ. 3


3. Demonstrate that white light is composed of many colors.


4. Explain that all visible objects are reflecting some light to the human eye.

5. Contrast the way light is reflected by a smooth, shiny object (e.g., mirror or pool of water) and how light is reflected by other objects.  B INQ. 4, 6, 7, 8


6. Measure angles to predict the path of light reflected by a mirror.  B INQ. 1, 5, 9, 10


“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)




5.1.b Light











Investigate  – light


Demonstrate  – colors or white light


Explain  – reflection/refraction











Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

Prism lesson outside on a sunny day – must be sunny or will NOT work, be flexible in your plans.

Parent letter home.

Using science notebooks.


Word Wall






convex lens

concave lens translucent





Interdisciplinary Connections

Literacy Nonfiction science leveled readers provided by the WHBOE.  Read biographies on inventors of light, mirrors, and lenses.

Math – graph science lab experiment data.

Social Studies – research famous scientists, such as Ben Franklin, Galileo, and Thomas Edison.  Can create a timeline of inventions involving light and lenses. 

Technology – smartboard lessons,, and power point presentations.

Art – create a poster board of an invention of light, lenses, and/or mirrors.  Create shadow portraits/silhouettes.  Have art teacher discuss color wheel and primary color blends.