Shadow Stage






Shadow Stage was developed as part of the Light and Shadow Workshop, using basic tools -- mirrors, lenses, and flashlights -- as the basis for explorations that can help build an intuitive understanding of how light works. Designed for out-of-school-time educators, the workshop is easily adaptable to other educational settings. The activities also work well for remote learning, since most materials are readily available or can be supplied in a teaching kit.


  • 手电筒(使用的最佳手电筒有一个带有单个LED的手电筒,请参阅步骤4)
  • 一张纸(描图纸是理想的,但任何paper or translucent material can work)
  • 磁带
  • 剪刀
  • 2cereal boxes (or a cardboard box larger than the sheet of paper, or recycled cardboard)
  • 小家用物品,玩具等可用
  • Recycle cardboard and other materials as available
  • 可选:纸紧固件(用于铰接式皮影偶)







Of course, you can also make supports out of recycled cardboard, or any number of other materials.

Alternatively, you can use a cardboard box. This approach is a little more work, but it will help block excess light if you cannot darken your room. Cut a hole in one side of the box, a bit smaller than a sheet of paper. Latter you will tape your screen over the hole and put your flashlight in the box, or cut a second hole for the flashlight if the box is too short.


Use a sheet of tracing paper, and tape it to the cereal boxes (or other supports).



There are a few considerations in choosing a flashlight:

  • 最好使用带有单个LED的手电筒。这将产生一个单独的阴影。带有许多LED的手电筒会产生许多重叠的阴影——这是一个有趣的实验,但它们不会产生清晰的阴影。
  • Choose a flashlight with a switch that will keep it on.
  • 大多数手电筒具有镜头和/或反射器,设计用于形成聚焦光束。但是阴影的最佳光源是“点源”(没有镜子或镜头的单个小光源,使光的路径复杂化)。如果可以安全地进行,请拧下手电筒的前部并取出任何反射器或镜头,然后重新连接前面。





Step 5: Using Your Shadow Theater

There are many ways to use your shadow theater, and all of them can let you experience different aspects of how light works. The steps that follow outline some ideas and the resources section has links to more.

A good starting point is to create a scene: experiment with placing small objects between the flashlight and screen to create an interesting shadow picture. It could be realistic or abstract.


opaqueobject will make a complete shadow stopping all the light coming from the flashlight before it reaches the screen. (See the glossary in the Light and Shadow workshop for definitions ofitalicizedterms.)





  • Find an everyday object and place it between the flashlight and screen. Have someone else try to guess what it is just from the shadow. Can you find objects that are hard to guess? If the person can’t guess, you can give them a clue by turning the object and giving them a different perspective.
  • Try using two objects -- by combining their shapes on the shadow screen you can make harder puzzles.
  • 如果你把一个物体移到比另一个更靠近光线的地方会发生什么?你能定位两个不同大小的物体使它们的阴影大小相同吗?你能解释为什么阴影会变大吗(请记住,光线以直线传播,从手电筒开始,然后从手电筒向外扩散。)
  • You can also experiment with leaving the object still and moving the light. What happens to the shadow? Can you explain why the shadow changes? Similar things happen to our shadows as the sun moves across the sky. (See resources for outdoor shadow activities.)

Step 7: Shadow Puppets

来自世界各地的影子傀儡传统。您可以在基本设计的赋予指令上搜索暗影傀儡,您可以从与您的小组相关的特定文化中的传统研究网络。(维基百科有很多信息 many other sites.)

安y simple cutout can work as a shadow puppet -- cut your puppet shape from thin cardboard (a cut-up cereal box for example). You can leave a cardboard “handle”, or attach another way to hold it and make it move, for example, a coffee stir stick, chopstick or paper straw.

You can also use paper fasteners to make articulated shadow puppets.

Some traditional shadow puppets have translucent colored sections that allow some light through and create a color image as opposed to a solid shadow.




Research shadow puppet traditions from specific cultures relevant to your group. There is lots of information in Wikipedia in many other sites.



许多艺术家用阴影创造出令人惊奇的艺术品。搜索皮影雕塑orShadow Art在里面Instructables or on the web. Many photographers have also found inspiring shadows to photograph.

If you are creating a drawing, painting, or animation, adding shadows can help add dimensionality, information about where the light is coming from, and even the time of day and the quality of the light. Looking at shadows in art:

This work is made possible by support from STAR, a Biogen Foundation Initiative. The team at Lesley supporting this initiative includes faculty and staff in the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab, Science in Education, the Center for Mathematics Achievement, and other related Lesley University departments and programs.



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