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OurStory: Life on the Water Lenses and Lighthouses

Teacher Guide, page 1 of 4

Read the Directions sheets for step-by-step instructions.

SUMMARY

In this activity, students will examine a lighthouse lens to develop an understanding of how some lighthouse lenses work in the context of a specific example. Students will then apply their knowledge of the lighthouse lens technology to imagine a new invention using a lighthouse lens to complete a dierent task.

RATIONALE

Careful observation is critical to everyday life and academic research in any field because it allows individuals to gather all of the information that is available from a resource. The information gathered from observation can then be used in higher-level thinking processes, such as application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

OBJECTIVES The students will be better able to:

  • Describe how a Fresnel lens works.

  • Observe carefully and describe in detail.

TIME

  • 30–40 minutes

AGE GROUP: K–4

TARGET VOCABULARY:

  • canal: a human-made waterway dug across land

  • Fresnel: the last name of an inventor (pronounced “Fray-nell”). The lens he invented is called a Fresnel lens.

  • lens: a piece of see-through material (like glass) that focuses rays of light

  • lighthouse: a structure, often a tower on land or in the water, with a powerful light that gives a signal to guide seafarers

  • magnifier: a lens or combination of lenses that makes something appear larger

  • maritime: of, relating to, or bordering a body of water

More information at http://americanhistory.si.edu/ourstory/activities/water/

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