Mirror, Mirror Does Luke Skywalker's landspeeder really move through the air across the desert? No? Well then, how did they do that? Mirrors! Luke's car really did have wheels, but what you saw was the reflection of the sand under the car! The mirror, attached to the bottom of the car, blocked your view of the wheels and was angled so that you saw the sand below. You can try some tricks with mirrors, too.
You will need: two mirrors (one hand-held, one pocket-sized), a toy car, an action figure or a hand puppet, a favorite picture book, a flashlight, and a shiny spoon.
Put your pocket-sized mirror in front of the toy car's wheels so that it is angled down to reflect the rug. Move the car toward you as you look in the mirror. What do you see?
Try more special effects with your action figure or hand puppet, picture book, and hand-held mirror. Open your book to a favorite scene. Angle the book and mirror so that you can see the scene in the hand-held mirror.
Put the figure or puppet into the mirror scene by holding it between the book and the mirror. What happens? (If you have a mirrored door, you can try this activity yourself at home. Stand with one leg on either side of the door and move the leg by the mirror in and out to fly. Take turns doing this with a friend so you can see each other fly!)
What happens when you shine a flashlight into the mirror? Where does the light go?
A spoon can be a mirror, too. Look at yourself from both sides of a shiny spoon. What do you see? How is it different from the flat mirror?
Why do you think mirrors work the way they do? How could you use effects like these in a movie?