Zoom In, Zoom Out

Strange stripes

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Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 7 – 9

Science topics:

Animals, including humans , Living things and their habitats

Take a much closer look at this familiar object. Can your class use their reasoning skills to work out what it is?

Run the activity

You will be zooming in and out of the image above – starting very close and stepping back slowly.

1. Start by asking everyone:

  • What do they think the image is and why?
  • What does the image remind them of and why?

2. Every time you zoom out, ask the class:

  • Can they describe the colours, shapes and textures?
  • What do they think the image is now – have they changed their minds?

Background science

Feathers, like human hair and nails, are composed of a strong protein called keratin. Feathers have a central shaft to which individual fibres are attached to form the vane.

Feathers have two distinctive properties. They are very waterproof which enables the bird to fly in wet conditions. They are also very strong which allows the bird to build up enough pressure during take off to create lift without buckling the feather.

Take it further

How does a bird ensure it’s feathers stay in tip-top condition? This article explains a bit more about waterproofing feathers. The class could carry out an inquiry to find out more.

Image credit: Wellcome