home Classroom Clues, Science Suggestions Quick Science: Spinning Illusions

Quick Science: Spinning Illusions

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bird illusion Use an optical illusion to extend your light or five senses unit.

Print in color or have students color the images. Tape the paper to a pencil or straw, staple, and spin! Step-by-step directions and a short video make it easy to create a spinning illusion your students will love.

Kids may want to draw their own illusions to share with classmates and family members.

Does it matter if you spin slowly or quickly? What if you use dark colors, bright colors, or pale colors? Will you see the illusion better if you are close, holding it at arm’s length, or far away watching from across the room as someone else spins the illusion? How might you see the illusion differently if you change one part of the illusion, like size, color, or spin rate? The materials are so simple it’s easy to change the illusion to find your answers.

This is a great activity for a science open house or a family science night.

Get started with my freebie Bird in a Bird Cage then consider purchasing Dog in Front of a Dog House, Butterfly Resting on a Flower, Fish in a Fish Bowl, or a BUNDLE that has all these resources and saves you $$$!


This activity could be a resource that helps you introduce NGSS 4-LS1-2: Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

For more resources, consider visiting PBS Learning Media. Do you have other suggestions to share for teaching about animal senses?

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