Learning Color+Shadow through Self-Discovery

In class one child discovered how to project colored light onto the wall with the projector. He was mesmerized by the way the light changed colors whenever he placed a different colored block on top of it. Playing with light is a great sensory experience for the child and helps them individually discover how light changes color and what can appear when light is beaming on an object.


At first he could not understand why his shadow would make the colored shadow of the block disappear when he was in front of it. He discovered by himself that if he got in the way of the light then his shadow would be the only thing seen. The children explored while building objects and then discovering how their 3 dimensional objects would look in a 2 dimensional way. The colored blocks helps capture the children’s interest and spike their curiosity to explore.


We would really like to emphasize the “discovery” in this incident.  Through the materials, the children were able to investigate and discover something on his or her own. Self-discovery is the starting point of education. It triggers natural exploration and taps into each child’s imagination.  Provocations such as this one provide the children with making discoveries through experience. The more the child inquires and explores while striving to understand on their own, the more successful they will be when they are out of school and in the real world. By nurturing child-led and self-discovery experiences for the children now,  these experiences are crucial because they will have significant intellectual impacts on the children in the long run. This is an important value in our philosophy because it allows creativity and innovation!

“It is in the small moments of discovery that big dreams are born. When curious eyes peer at stars through a paper-towel roll, an astronaut has made her first spacewalk. When chubby hands wrap a washcloth cast around a cat’s tail, a doctor has healed his first patient… Let the children play. Our future depends on it.”

–L.R. Knost

References and additional reading:

Self-Discovery Key to Educational Success 

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