Opaque, Translucent and Transparent

Contributor: Alison Weiss. Lesson ID: 10551

Do you ever think about your shadow? Learn what light does to objects to cause shadows. You'll complete an online activity, quiz, and game before conducting your very own light experiment!


Physical Science

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What do you see behind the cat in the picture above?

You might know that shadows are created when light runs into an object, like a person, and cannot pass through it. Humans, animals and other dense objects that do not allow light to pass through them are called opaque.

Can you think of more materials or objects that might be opaque?

Thin papers like tissue paper, notebook paper, and even paper towels are capable of letting some light through them. Materials like these are called translucent.

Can you think of other materials or objects that might be translucent?

Finally, materials like plastic wrap, clear glass, and air allow all light to travel through them. Materials that allow all light to pass through are called transparent.

Can you think of other materials or objects that allow light to completely pass through them?

After you have a few ideas, try this fun online activity from BBC Bitesize entitled Shadows-Read. You can ask a parent to read with you or to you!

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