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This lesson provided by:
Author:Kelly Meadows
System: Hartselle City
School: Barkley Bridge Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 24074

Translucent, Transparent, and Opaque Objects


Students will become familiar with transparent, translucent, and opaque objects. Students predict whether items are transparent, translucent, or opaque. Finally, students will show what they have learned by producing a song, poem, cheer, rap, or comic strip.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
SC(4) 3. Recognize how light interacts with transparent, translucent, and opaque materials.
MA2015(3) 18. Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. [3-MD3]
Local/National Standards:

National Science Education Standards Physical Science: Content Standard B: Sudents should develop an understanding of light, heat, electricity, and magnetism.

National Council for Teachers of Mathematics Data Analysis and Probability Standards: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.

International Society for Technology in Education Standard 1: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students: a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes. b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression. c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues. d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to recognize transparent, translucent, and opaque objects.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

For Teacher: Glass bowl, phone book, translucent light globe, Prediction Answers
For Students: Transparent and Opaque by Angela Royston, Light Prediction Sheet, Assessment sheet, bag of materials per pair of students (should include a square 5x5 piece of wax paper, syran wrap, Kleenex, sheer fabric, white tissue paper, black tissue paper, astro terf, wood, and plexiglass) and different household products and items for the students to view (I use a soap dispenser, fabric softener sheets, highchair plastic tray, glass candle holder, wrapping paper, several Tupperware pieces, storage containers, beach ball, white envelope, plastic accordian file folder, drink coaster, pillow, and a postcard), posterboard, markers, and copy paper.

Technology Resources Needed:

Overhead Screen, Computer for teacher, LCD projector


Teacher needs to be aware of the different types of materials.
•Transparent – Most light passes through
•Translucent – Some light passes through
•Opaque – No light passes through

1.)Engagement/Motivation Activity: The teacher will show students 3 items (a piece of wrapping paper, a glass candle holder, and a fabric softener sheet). The teacher will have students brainstorm as to how those items are different. Students can examine how the wrapping paper does not allow light to pass through, the candle holder allows most light to pass through, and the fabric softener sheet allows some light to pass through. The teacher will have students brainstorm other items that could be translucent, transparent, or opaque.

2.)The teacher will go over the three items (wrapping paper, candle holder, and fabric softener sheet) and what type of material they are based on how light interacts with each. The teacher will write all three types of materials on the board for students to see: fabric softener-translucent(allows some light to pass through), the glass candle holder-transparent (allows most light to shine through), and wrapping paper-opaque(does not allow light to pass through).

3.)The teacher will show students the Translucent, Transparent, and Opaque video through the LCD projector. The teacher will question students afterwards. For example, ask students what the definitions of transparent, translucent, and opaque are based on what they viewed and heard from the video.
(Translucent, Transparent, Opaque Video)
The video contains real world examples of the different types of objects.

4.)Walk the students down the hallway, into the cafeteria, and outside the school building for students to look for the different types of objects. Have students share as they find an item that is transparent, translucent, or opaque. After returning to the classroom, have students brainstorm items around the community or in their home that are transparent, translucent, and opaque. Have students discuss objects they can see as they are riding down the road. Make a chart on the board of the different items kids mention that are translucent, transparent, and opaque.

5.)The teacher will explain to students they will be looking at different materials, which can be classified as translucent, transparent, or opaque. The teacher will pass out a bag of materials to every two students. Students can be paired with the person sitting next to them. Students will use the Prediction page to predict whether each item in the bag is transparent, translucent, or opaque.

6.)Students and teachers will discuss the results together. Students should compare and contrast the results verbally.

7.)Have students discuss ways in which the results would change if more objects were added to view such as paper towel, bubble packing material, laminating film, felt, cardboard, and styrofoam trays. Then, review the terms translucent, transparent, and opaque.

8.)Finally, put students into groups of four. Place girls and boys into groups separately. Then, allow students time to complete an activity with their group to share with the class. Activities include a poem, song, cheer, rap, comic strip, or poster. Students should include the words transparent, translucent, and opaque, as well as their meaning and examples.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Lights Prediction Answers.doc
Light Results Sheet.doc
Light Assessment.doc
Assessment Strategies:

Informal: Student product from class activity with group. Formal: Students will look at different household items that were brought in by the teacher. Each item is numbered. Students will look at each item and write whether they are transparent, translucent, or opaque on their assessment sheet. Students should complete with 90% accuracy.


Students can be given opportunity to produce a PowerPoint presentation to display their information the the three different objects, their meanings, and examples.


Students can be directed to the book Transparent and Opaque by Angela Royston. Students can read more information on the different types of objects as well as be informed of types of objects used and seen in everyday life. Students can read with the book on tape or can pair read.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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