Lighting Function and Purposes


Students will demonstrate their understanding of Lighting function and purposes by completing a worksheet.



Different colored gels
Purposes of Lighting Worksheet – Lesson 1.Purposes of Lighting Teacher Notes
Purposes of Lighting Worksheet with blanks – Lesson 1.Purposes of Lighting Worksheet
10 small objects (ex. Action figures)



Hook – Have three chairs set up at the front of the room. Have three students come to the front of the room and sit in the chairs. Instruct the students to recite a fairy tale that they know by heart. Ex. Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, etc,. After they are all telling the story at the same time for 30 seconds tell them to stop. Ask the students in the Audience who they were focused the most on.


Transition – Take a poll from the audience and see who they were focused the most on. Hopefully there will be a mix of responses. Pass out flashlights to the first row of students. Have them turn on their lights and point it on the person sitting in the middle. Have the students start reciting again and turn the lights all the way off. Now only one person will be lit. Have them change their lights to be on the other two.


Discussion- Who did you focus on with all of the lights on? Who did they focus on with only the flashlights? Hopefully they will see that having the light on a person made it so that you focused on the person who was lit.


Transition- If it is dark and you need to find something what do you do? They should answer back with things like, turn on the lights, or get a flashlight. When it is dark and you use a flashlight to see where do you point a flashlight? Do you point it at the object you want to see or do you point it away from that object. In theatre we can use light to control where people in the audience are focused.
This points out the idea that you need light to see.


Instruction – Hand out the Purposes of Lighting Worksheet. The Students worksheet has blanks for them to fill in. Read through the worksheet and have the students write in the appropriate answers. As you go through the worksheet have volunteers come up and demonstrate with a flashlight examples from the parts being filled in.
Using a flashlight and some colored gels, light a small object like a Barbie or GI Joe to demonstrate the various functions, asking for suggestions from the students as well.


Post these instructions on the projector:
1) Number off into 5 groups. Each group will be assigned to a specific place.
2) Once in your groups you will pick 3 different people to get… a flashlight, gel, and object
3) In your group create 3 scenes (designs/mood) using the gel, light, and object.
4) Present your scenes 3 scenes (designs/mood) to the class.
5) You may borrow other groups gels or flashlights to present your scenes.


Guided Practice- Split the class into groups of about 6 people. Have each group demonstrate with their flashlights the 4 functions of lighting by shining their lights beneath, beside or above a person in their group. (There will probably be one flashlight per group while the practice, but tell them to prepare as if everyone in their group was using a flashlight.) They can use the colored gels as well. Once prepared, they will present their lighting ideas to the entire class so everyone can observe the difference modeling and light direction makes on the viewed object.


Guided Practice: As the students perform ask the students what they observe. Also point out highlights on head/body & deep shadows on face, sides’ straight angle (highlights & deep shadows), front light (flattens & compresses, unflattering), backlight (shadows, uncomfortable for audience), low angle/under light etc. as they happen.



They assessed by their filling in the worksheet as well as participating in their presentation.