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Watch TV Upside Down on a Piece of Paper

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    Optical Society of America

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Watch TV Upside Down on a Piece of Paper

In this optics activity, learners use a television to generate an image with a magnifying glass. Learners will be surprised to see how they can watch TV on a piece of paper, albeit upside down! Use this activity to demonstrate the behavior of light refraction and reflection.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • A magnifying glass
  • A piece of white paper
  • A television


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Lenses and Mirrors
      • Reflection and Refraction
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Cobb, Vicki; Cobb, Josh


  • All Rights Reserved, Optical Society of America, ©2008


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  • Thumbnail Video by andrewsilk on 2014-09-05