Distortion Detectives…..

After a break of two weeks, we met again online and in this time the children had finished designing and making their filtered glasses. Through the camera I witnessed some great glasses: click below to see a few!


The world looked a little different through the filters and the children observed each other looking a little blue or a little green! One child noticed a friend had orange face and pink shirt! It was our task this week to seek ways to change and distort colours and the things we observe. So here’s a little record of our journey!


Observing changes

So the children worked in pairs, observing the changes to the colours of their friend’s face and clothes and made a painting. Our previous work exploring colour / paint helped with this task. Click below to see a few of the outcomes!

faces through filtered glasses

The children told me that some colours looked darker than when they viewed without the filters. We noticed too that the filters could make the colours duller or seem like a lighter or darker version of the same colour. We discussed the word ‘TONE’ as meaning how light or dark a colour appeared to be.


Look at this! While the children were busy observing their changes, I found this online:

Mural by Italian, Milan-based art group called Carnovsky

The image is made using 3 colours red, blue and yellow. Then filtered lights are used to view the mural. Look what happens when  red filter is used:

Carnovsky mural viewed with red filter

Now with a green filter:

and finally with a blue filter:

The filtered lights pick up certain images in one colour and then hide the others. How COOL is that!


Back in Crossmaglen and Belfast we investigated other ways to distort what we saw. Luckily we had some spoons very handy – they are a great way to look at our our reflection! Each child looked at the two surfaces of their spoon, noticing some very strange distortions….

Some strange words also introduced themselves to us….. CONCAVE and CONVEX




These two surfaces make some very interesting distortions. The concave side of the spoon made our reflection appear upside down!

I am the wrong way up

The convex surface made us look stretched.

A little long

The children used cameras in the classroom to document their distortions using a single use camera which was posted to Miss Fanthorpe and she will post back to me and I am looking forward to seeing the results.


Next our explorations made use of magnifying lenses and luckily again the children had use of plenty of these and again documented the things they saw, using a camera. They noticed if they held them to their faces, then parts of their face were enlarged and distorted…….

What a big eye you have Mrs Wolf!


The children tried this in the class and documented the resulting look using single use cameras…. when the camera film was used up, Miss Fanthorpe posted it up to me to process and I scanned the pictures onto the computer for the journal!

Quite a few pictures did not come out so well, being very dark and also some pictures were taken that did not quite capture the face, but perhaps the chest or neck! It was fairly tricky because perhaps the children were used to the digital camera screens, where they could see exactly what they were taking.


Finally we looked through some lenses that are used as peep-viewers that are inserted into doors as security devices…….


Each group of children at their tables had a peep-viewer and were amazed at what they now saw! When the children looked down at their feet, the lens in these objects surprisingly made their legs look a long way away!

The children remarked that they suddenly looked taller! We are going to explore more using these small objects next week. In the meantime The children finished the session, by hunting around about them for as many distortions as possible.

Miceal found a great distortion by looking at the surface of a trophy. Click below to view:

trophy image

Abi found a distortion on a shiny whiteboard and others found them on door knobs, radiators glass in a picture frame and the surface paint on a car. Another was found on the inside of a foil crisp packet. Thats clever detective work!


Here are a few I found recently!

In the city reflective and shiny surfaces are everywhere: glass in buildings, vehicle surfaces and coverings.

Taxi Top 2
reflections in the bus painted surfaceMirror image


The world reflected back