Tag Archives: retina

Mapping Retinas

You can’t really go wrong with eyes. Oh, unless a student starts feeling queasy with the eyeball dissection. But it’s one of those Slam Dunk Open Goal Shoo In topics that you would have to work really hard at to make dull. So the following is just throwing some random ideas out there which¬†you might consider (if you don’t already do them).

I start by making the entire class stare at a huge red heart projected on to the board for two minutes.

red-heart-vision-trick

Then immediately switch to a white screen. They love this – it’s weird, it’s unexpected, it’s slightly unsettling, and it stimulates the obvious question – what the…?

So then we map their retinas.

mapping-the-visual-field

This is a resource I found in an age old file 15 years ago or more, so it’s not original, but I love it. Keeps them usefully occupied for 45 minutes or so and all you need is some A3 paper, sellotape, meter rules and two pen lids, one red, one green. I’ve adapted it a bit and added a homework exercise with interpretive questions to help them understand the wonderful maps that they produce…

retina-map

Once they’ve figured that out, you can go back to the red heart trick and ask them to explain it.

And if you are dissecting eyeballs, do make sure you see how high the lenses will bounce…