(for Day Three)
Responding to God’s Streaming Light
- Quote: The Sun is the center of light and . . . life. –‘Abdu’l-Bahá
- Lentils, paper plates, paper towels, water
- An item that is solar powered (e.g. a small fan; toy flower etc.)
- An assortment of fluorescent minerals and an ultraviolet flashlight
What have we been discussing this week?
What kind of light?
There is an analogy to God’s Light, used in all the sacred writings, Bahá’u’lláh, the Bible, the Holy Qurán. Can you think of what it is?
Someone please bring in the verse from the side cabinet in the Refuge & read it, the one we’ve been using all year.
The Sun is the center of light and . . . life. –‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Oh, the sun!
All agree that we see this often in the sacred writings.
In the spiritual world do we all depend on God’s Light?
In the material world, do we all depend on the light of the Sun?
Yes. We need it to live.
In the material world, is every kingdom dependent on the light of the sun?
Yes. (Students list examples.)
In the spiritual world, are we actually excited and inspired by God’s Light?
So much so that we take action and do something about it?
We say prayers.
Like our poster, a thousand times! E3
Like help Mom clean.
We’re nice to our friends.
We have to be nice to everyone.
How about in the material world. Are we excited and inspired by sun?
How do you feel when you wake up on a warm sunny day?
I want to go outside.
What do you want to do?
I want to go in the sprinkler, ‘cause it’s too hot!
I want to ride my bike.
I do too. Sometimes Mom takes us to the park.
It sounds to me like the sun inspires you to all sorts of action.
Do you think most people like the sunshine? We rode on our bike a couple of days ago when it was rainy and starting to get dark. How many people do you think we saw on the bike trail?
Well, actually there was one person walking her dog. Then yesterday we rode when it was very sunny. How many then, do you think?
About a thousand!
Well, more like 50 or 60, but you have the idea. So would you say people are attracted to the sun and excited into taking action?
How about the other kingdoms? Do you think they are attracted to the sun and excited into taking action?
Flowers turn towards the sun!
That’s an excellent example.
Let’s be scientists for a minute and systematically look for some examples.
We already discussed people, so let’s start with the animal kingdom. Are animals attracted to the sun?
Do they get excited enough to take action? What actions can we observe?
They like to run around.
Butterflies like the sun.
What can you observe when the sun first comes up? When you wake up in the tent (the class was camping for the week) at the first rays of light, what do you observe? What wakes you up?
Oh, my goodness! The birds are SO LOUD! E3
Does it happen every morning?
So, have we observed animals being inspired by the sun?
Okay, how about the plant kingdom? . . . Someone already said that flowers turn toward the sun. We have a flower here. How can we set up an experiment to observe this action?
Students immediately took the flower to a sunny window and faced the flowers away from the sun.
We’ll check back through the week. What do you think will happen?
It will turn and face the sun.
What happens to a seed?
Oh, can we plant seeds? What is that? Is that lentils? E2.5
Yes it is. First we put them in the dark on a plate with several layers of paper towels to keep it dark. Seeds need to begin in the dark, so the sun can wake them up. Then we need to soak them with water. In a couple of days, we will remove the towels and place them in the sun. What do you think will happen?
We’ve seen them before, Grandma, they grow straight up on the plate. (There was discussion about who could do what in the experiment, but there was a plate for each student to do the experiment.)
How about the mineral kingdom? Are minerals attracted to the sun? Can they actually be excited?
Yes (with much hesitation)
They can grow crystals.
That often happens in caves. Do you think it is because of the sun?
No. Probably not.
What happens to the sidewalk on a summer day? Can it reflect light?
How can you tell? What do you feel when you walk on it?
The heat of the sun actually does excite the atoms in the stone or concrete. But it would be difficult to see, even with a microscope. Is there a way to observe rocks taking action because they are excited by the sun?
What about that (pointing to a solar powered toy flower, bouncing back and forth)?
That’s solar powered.
That’s right. Try covering the solar panel with your finger. (Both had to try.)
It stops moving.
And when you let the sun shine onto it again.
In silence, all observed it moving again.
But there is a much cooler way to observe minerals responding to the sun with excitement. (Provide an assortment of fluorescent minerals and an ultraviolet flashlight.)
Some minerals are so excited by the sun’s light, and so attracted to it, that their electrons jump away from their atoms toward the light. When they fall back to the atom, they release a bit of light that is a different color than the mineral normally looks. We can tell when a mineral is doing this by looking at it with an ultraviolet light. So let’s look at a few minerals and see if they are excited into action.
(Students enjoyed examining the stones, guessing whether they would be excited and what new color might be observed. Several stones glowed impressively in a different color than by sunlight.) E3
Well I think the sun is wonderful and inspires some pretty exciting actions. What about God’s Holy Light? What actions do you think God’s Light might inspire in you?
We are going to finish the light catchers for our baskets (which are being prepared as gifts to take on home visits.)
Do you think Lee will like the colors of her prayer beads? (They were made by that student for the same baskets.)
Let’s work on our baskets. I2
Average reaction: E2
Explanation of light exciting the minerals’ electrons:
Fluorescent minerals may be found at a rock and mineral store (take along a UV flashlight to identify them), a science or museum store, or Amazon: