Start of main content
Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Science

Investigate reverse writing through mirror games

See how words change when reflected in a mirror

We use mirrors everyday to see what we look like. Car drivers use them to see cars behind them, to help them drive and park safely. However, is the image we see the same as if we were to look from the direction of the mirror?

Through this fun STEM activity, students will gain an understanding of how light reflects off mirrors. By utilising reverse writing, students will observe how words transform when reflected in a mirror. This exercise provides an opportunity for students to practice reverse writing and make notes.

Activity: Investigate reverse writing through mirror games

This resource is part of a series of free STEM resources developed to aid in teaching the primary national curriculum, specifically targeting key topics in maths and science. The focus of this activity is on the reflection of light off mirrors and other reflective surfaces, and the use of reverse writing to observe the phenomenon.

This activity can be used as a starter or main activity to introduce light and build on experiences to explain how light travels. It can be carried out individually or in small groups.

This activity demonstrates how light travels in straight lines. Students will first write their name and see it reflected in different directions, which will create learner discussion. Students will then place the mirror on the right-hand side of the paper, which will allow the writing to be read correctly.

The teacher may wish to demonstrate the first steps, then allow the learners to reverse write with the mirror placed on the right-hand side. This will allow students to see their writing develop the correct way around.

Note that when writing in reverse, learners must reverse the letters, not just put them in reverse order.

When the learners are more confident reverse writing, they can be tasked with writing messages to their friends.

Tools/resources required

  • Small mirrors
  • Paper

The engineering context

Engineers need to have a good understanding of how light travels and is reflected off surfaces. This is vital when engineers design rear-view mirrors for cars, periscopes for submarines and giant telescopes to look at the stars.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity students will be able to understand what happens when light is reflected off a mirror and they will be able to reverse write and read it in a mirror.

Download the free Investigate reverse writing through mirror games activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

Related resources