Homemade Northern Lights on the ceiling

Having visited Iceland in October, I was determined to get my experiences into lessons whenever I could. With year 8 looking at the Arctic, an opportunity arose. I had seen the Northern Lights and was so blown away spent a while figuring out to replicate them in my room. The task was going to be that the pupils learnt about the formation, history and meanings behind the lights and then, if selected, audition for the role of Northern Lights tour guide.

To make the actual lights, I went back in time, found an old OHP, some coloured acetate and some boardmarkers. I coloured in cut up pieces of the acetate, placed them onto the OHP surface, made sure the ‘lid’ of the OHP was down and projected onto the ceiling was a menagerie of lights in the appropriate reds, greens, blues and violets. This is in a completely darkened room, blinds down, only the light of the OHP for sight.By gently moving the pieces around as the pupils auditioned, they could react to the lights changes and alter their speeches accordingly. The best efforts rolled with the colour changes and discussed what each meant and how each was created.


The whole thing was really good fun, the pupils got very excited at the set up and were an excellent tour guide audience, asking questions if they wanted to know more from the guides.

I would definitely do it again and after a blind vote, the most worthy pupils was employed as our tour guide, winning a compass in the process, so he always knew which way to turn.




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