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Monday Morning Ready03.09.2015
Jumpstart Your Week!

It’s the dress that’s beating the Internet black and blue. Or should that be gold and white? Friends and co-workers worldwide are debating the true hues of a royal blue dress with black lace that, to many an eye, transforms in one photograph into gold and white. Optometry experts are calling the photo a one-in-a-million shot that perfectly captures how people’s brains perceive color and process contrast in dramatically different ways... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

The dress only appeared to be different colors in one photo. Do you think anyone will ever be able to take another photo like this? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

How likely do you think it is that designers will attempt to create more color-changing clothing? Do you think they’ll succeed? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

In your opinion, what does it say about modern society that so many people went online to comment on this dress and that the dress is likely to become the retailer’s greatest-seller ever?

Grade 9-10

According to Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, there’s no correct way to perceive this photograph. It’s simply a matter of whether a person’s brain chooses to focus on colors or the surrounding area. If there is no correct interpretation, why do you think so many people insisted they were right?

LESSON PLAN
Create an Optical Illusion

PROCESS:

  1. Ask the class: Is it possible for your eyes and brain to disagree? If so, which would you believe — your eyes or your brain? Discuss the possibilities. Challenge students to give good reasons for whichever option they chose.
  2. Display a video to teach students about optical illusions.
  3. Then access the Smithsonian magazine article "These Patterns Move, But It’s All an Illusion." Double click on each image to display the pattern full-screen.
  4. Encourage students to describe what they see. Challenge them to explain how and why that’s different from what their brains know. Brainstorm reasons why students think this phenomenon might occur.
  5. Give each student a piece of plain white paper and access to markers. Then follow a lesson plan and invite students to create their own optical illusions.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their drawings with the class. Instruct them to identify what their eyes see and what their brains know. Challenge students to pinpoint elements in their drawings that cause their eyes to misinterpret the information.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Show students a video from the National Eye Institute. Use a lesson plan that teaches students how to create an optical illusion handprint.

Grades 5-6:
Show students a video from the National Eye Institute. Use a lesson plan that teaches students how to create a 3-D illustration.

Grades 7-8:
Show students a video of a TED ED lesson explaining how optical illusions trick your brain. Use a lesson plan that teaches students basic elements of op art that they can incorporate as they create their own optical illusion illustrations.

Grades 9-10:
Show students a video of a TED ED lesson explaining how optical illusions trick your brain. Use a lesson plan that teaches students how to create an optical design.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
ALSO ON TEENTRIBUNE.COM