Making light choices | Grade 1 | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Making light choices

Sort out the differences between natural and artificial light.

Activity Image
20 mins
Thought starter


Illuminate the difference between two types of light sources by sorting through pictures of natural and artificial light. Use this sorting activity to spark a discussion about when it might be better to use natural light and what the benefits are.


What you'll need

  • Print and cut out 1 set of the “Making light choices” handout for each group of 4 students

  1. Start by asking students to think of ways light is important to us: 
    • It makes us feel good, 
    • It allows us to see,
    • It helps us concentrate and learn, 
    • It lets us sleep, 
    • It provides energy for plants to grow
  2. Explain that some light is natural and some light is artificial
    • Artificial light sources are electric – they use power or energy, like the lights in our homes and the projector light at school.
  3. Ask for examples of natural light sources like the sun, moon, stars and lightning and examples of artificial light like lamps, lights in the classroom, flashlights and holiday decorations.
  4. Divide students into groups of 4 and give each group a set of the “Making light choices” pictures
  5. Challenge the groups to sort the pictures into two groups: 4 of the photos are examples of natural light sources and 4 are artificial light sources.
  6. Once we’re done sorting, go through the pictures as a class and chat about what category they fit in and why.
  7. Just like we don’t want to waste food or water, we should try not to waste energy either. To save energy, sometimes we can choose natural light instead. When might we be able to turn off the artificial lights and use natural light instead? 
    • Examples could include opening the blinds or curtains to let daylight in, or going outside to play instead of staying inside with the lights on. 

Modify or extend this activity


  • Have the students plant seeds. Place some seeds close to the window and others near artificial light in order to demonstrate how plants grow towards the light.
  • Go to the gym to play a game Follow the light” to learn how bugs follow light to navigate.   

Curriculum Fit

Grade 1 Science


  • Light and sound can be produced and their properties can be changed
    • Natural and artificial sources of light and sound

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Sort and classify data and information using drawings
  • Consider some environmental consequences of their actions
  • Communicate observations and ideas using oral language

Teaching Notes

Natural light

Natural light can benefit our health and save energy:

  1. Helps improve mental health
  2. Improves sleep
  3. Increases ability to concentrate and learn
  4. Helps our bodies to produce vitamin D which help us build and maintain teeth and bones and absorb calcium
  5. Saves energy as we can turn off the artificial lighting

Tips to increase natural light and conserve energy:

  • Keep blinds or curtains open to let in the natural light
  • Decorate with bright reflective colours and/or use mirrors
  • Get outside and exercise


  • Assess students’ understanding of the importance of light to humans, animals and plants.
  • Assess students’ ability to sort light sources into two categories: natural and artificial.
  • Assess students’ communication by sharing ideas and listening to others.

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