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Lesson Plan


Look at your own eyes, dissect a cow's eye and learn about how our eyes work.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Physics: Light and Sound (1)

How do we see? With our eyes.
What comes into our eyes that makes us see? Light.
Light from the sun, or bouncing off objects around us comes to our eye.

Look at the parts of your eye

Look at your pupil changing size.

What’s wrong with this eye?
Show a picture of a girl with cat eyes.

Guess who’s eye?
Show pictures of other animals' eyes from Evolution book (see resources).
Different animals have different shaped pupils.
Which eye is the human one?
Do you recognize any other animal’s eyes?
They regulate the light too, but the shape is different.

We will now look at a real cow’s eye, and try to find the parts that we have seen in our eyes
Dissect a cow’s eye (demonstration) and stop after looking at the lens.

Students wash hands.

Use magnifiers to magnify and invert an image, just as the lens in our eye can.

How does the lens magnify and invert images?
Use the laser to show how the lens bends light.

Back to the cow's eye dissection, to look at the back of the cow’s eye.

Blind spot experiment

How do our eyes see colour? There are cells on the back of the eye that are sensitive to different colours (blue, green and red). When light hits them they send a message to the brain through the optic nerve. Different colours of light trigger different combinations of cells, so we can see all the colours.
Colour reversal illusions.

About 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women in the world are colourblind, though not all the cases are extreme, and someone might not even realise they have partial colourblindness. Colour blindness is usually from a genetic cause (in your DNA and inherited from parents). The most common kind is red/green colourblindness, and is partial or complete loss of sensitivity to red and green colours. In the more extreme cases (protanopia - loss of red, and deuteranopia - loss of green) colours containing red or green appear yellow or brown, and blues and purples are confused. Less extreme cases (deuteranomaly - partial loss of green) are most common, where reds appear browner and purples appear bluer.
Find out what it is like to be colour blind:

Attached documents: 

Colour reversal illusions omitted for ingridscience afterschool.
Could include comparison of eye placement in predators and prey.

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Teaching Site: 
General Gordon Elementary Science Club
ingridscience afterschool