How to Sign In
Our Favorite Activities
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Create an Illusion in Class


Resource needed: a typical smartphone with a camera 


Class Time: 20 minutes 



When you look at things in the real world, you have more depth perception and can tell which things are closer and which things are farther away. Taking pictures with a camera changes the real-world experience from three-dimensional to two-dimensional and can result in some humorous juxtapositions. 


Students can quickly create an illusion by doing this:

  1. Get out your smartphones
  2. Get into small groups
  3. Find any smallish objects (6 inches or so), such as a soda can, a key chain or a textbook.
  4. Find a flat stretch of floor.
  5. One person lies down on the ground. This person on the ground holds their phone and is ready to take a picture. First, they put a small item on the ground in front of the phone (about 2 feet away).
  6. Then, the student (or students) standing in front of the student lying down with the smartphone move backward on the sidewalk or floor until they are smaller, in relative size, than the object in front of the camera.
  7. Take a photo.




The pictures that result from this activity are fun. They will create an interesting example of relative size and how easily the eye can be tricked.


You can add this activity to your MindTap class. Click here to login into MindTap.



This activity accompanies this blog post in the community, How Do Optical Illusions Work, Anyway?