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Shadow Shapes

In this worksheet students work at relating objects to shadows, deciding how they were made and their likely shape according to the light source.

'Shadow Shapes' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Light

Curriculum subtopic:  Shadows

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Bet you know all about shadows! You don't? Well, you've come to the right place - in this worksheet we'll have a look at the sort of shadows that different objects make and try to see how they're made.

 

It's good to think about what sort of shape an object is - when light (say from the Sun) hits that object (say a goalpost) it cannot get through. Instead the light bounces off. That leaves an area on the ground which is dark, because the goalpost blocked the light. That's the shadow. What sort of shape would it be? For a goalpost, long and thin .... just like a goalpost!

 

Anyway, work through the questions and see how you get on.

Which of these are sources of light - things that produce light?

Tick all the ones you agree with.

stars

plants

candle flame

window

the moon

planets

torch

Here are pictures of six different objects and six shadows:

 

 

 

Your job is to match the shadow to the object you think produced it. To do that, match the letters up.

Column A

Column B

A
X
B
U
C
W
D
V
E
Y
F
Z

In this question there are four objects and each object has three possible shadows:

 

 

 

Thinking about how light hits each object and reflects off it, leaving a dark area behind it, decide which is the likely shadow for each object. By the way, the light is always shining from the left-hand side. (Tick the correct combination for each object)

cup = A

cup = B

cup = C

ice lolly = D

ice lolly = E

ice lolly = F

ball = U

ball = V

ball = W

Christmas tree star = X

Christmas tree star = Y

Christmas tree star = Z

Where would be a shady (shadowy) place to sit on a sunny day?

under a tree

on the beach

in the middle of a cricket pitch

Butterflies like to visit flowers on sunny days. Which of these would be the best place for butterflies?

in a bluebell wood

on a beach

in a field of poppies

Henry wants use his hands to make a shadow of a rabbit's ears on his bedroom wall.

Which of these pictures shows the correct way for him to make a good rabbit's ears shadow?

 

A

B

C

Henry walks to school every day. He notices that sometimes he has a shadow and sometimes he doesn't. Why is it that on some days he doesn't have a shadow?

because it is not sunny

because it is too sunny

because he is walking on the grass

When Henry walks back from school in the afternoon he notices that when he has a shadow it's often longer than it was in the morning. What do you think the reason for this might be?

he has grown during the day

it is hotter in the afternoon

the Sun is lower in the sky in the afternoon

  • Question 1

Which of these are sources of light - things that produce light?

Tick all the ones you agree with.

CORRECT ANSWER
stars
candle flame
torch
EDDIE SAYS
Oo, tricky to start off with! Did you put the Moon or planets down as light-producers? The light from the Sun bounces off them to us - they don't produce their own light, but they do reflect the Sun's light. The Sun is a star, so stars are sources of light, so is a candle flame (burning) and a torch (on) - light shines from them.
  • Question 2

Here are pictures of six different objects and six shadows:

 

 

 

Your job is to match the shadow to the object you think produced it. To do that, match the letters up.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

A
W
B
U
C
Y
D
Z
E
X
F
V
EDDIE SAYS
Not 100% easy! Some probably weren't too bad, like C&Y, but others you probably had to think about for a while. Basically, think about the shape of the object, think about light hitting it, think about that light being blocked and leaving a dark area behind the object - what shape would it be?
  • Question 3

In this question there are four objects and each object has three possible shadows:

 

 

 

Thinking about how light hits each object and reflects off it, leaving a dark area behind it, decide which is the likely shadow for each object. By the way, the light is always shining from the left-hand side. (Tick the correct combination for each object)

CORRECT ANSWER
cup = B
ice lolly = D
ball = V
Christmas tree star = Z
EDDIE SAYS
If you understand this it's easy! All the correct shadows are the completely black ones - you see, the shadow can never contain any of the design that's on the object. Remember, the object has blocked light. Its shadow is simply the area that no light can get to, so it must be the right shape, but that's all.
  • Question 4

Where would be a shady (shadowy) place to sit on a sunny day?

CORRECT ANSWER
under a tree
EDDIE SAYS
You want shade - that means sitting in something's shadow. Here only the tree is blocking light (and the Sun's heat), so that's where you'd sit: in the shade, in the tree's shadow.
  • Question 5

Butterflies like to visit flowers on sunny days. Which of these would be the best place for butterflies?

CORRECT ANSWER
in a field of poppies
EDDIE SAYS
OK, so the butterflies are looking for flowers AND sun. The bluebell wood has flowers but it's a wood, so shady - not the best. The beach is lovely and sunny (well, you can hope!), but there are no flowers there, so that's no good. The field of poppies is both sunny and has lots of flowers - paradise for butterflies!
  • Question 6

Henry wants use his hands to make a shadow of a rabbit's ears on his bedroom wall.

Which of these pictures shows the correct way for him to make a good rabbit's ears shadow?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A
EDDIE SAYS
The light has to shine on to the object, which blocks the light and causes a dark area behind it. Only A will work here because in B the wall blocks the light getting to Henry's hand and in C there's nothing for his shadow to fall on to.
  • Question 7

Henry walks to school every day. He notices that sometimes he has a shadow and sometimes he doesn't. Why is it that on some days he doesn't have a shadow?

CORRECT ANSWER
because it is not sunny
EDDIE SAYS
If it is a cloudy day, there's often not enough light to cause a shadow on the ground - it has to be quite bright (and in one direction). Shadows form fine on grass and it can never be too sunny for a shadow to form (although it might be too sunny for your eyes!).
  • Question 8

When Henry walks back from school in the afternoon he notices that when he has a shadow it's often longer than it was in the morning. What do you think the reason for this might be?

CORRECT ANSWER
the Sun is lower in the sky in the afternoon
EDDIE SAYS
As the Sun moves across the sky (well, it appears to - actually it's the Earth spinning) everything's shadow changes: those shadows move and change shape. That's because the light is coming from a different place, so the shape of the shadow will be different. If the Sun is shining above Henry, his shadow will be small and nearly underneath him. If the Sun is shining in front of Henry, because it's lower in the sky, his shadow will be behind him and it'll be longer. If you don't believe me, YOU go and try it out!
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