The Plane Mirror Images Interactive is an adjustable size file that displays nicely on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The compatibility with tablets such as iPads and with Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom. This Interactive does not display well on all smart phones and The Physics Classroom does not recommend its use on all smart phones.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

The Plane Mirror Images Interactive is a skill-building tool that allows the user to explore the formation of images in plane mirrors. It makes a wonderful complement to lab activities on the law of reflection and the characteristics of plane mirror images. The Interactive takes a Tutorial approach to these topics. It is always our opinion that simulations should support and not replace hands-on experiences. We encourage teachers to consider how to coordinate this interactive with laboratory experiences that are a part of their curriculum. Our thoughts are that this Interactive would be ideally placed after a hands-on experience on the topic of the law of reflection and prior to a lab on the formation of images. We have provided links to lab ideas further down on the page. 

The Interactive consists of two parts. The parts can be done independently. Student progress is not saved once the student leaves the page. However, a check mark is displayed on the entry screen once one of the activity parts has been completed. Teachers using the program in class can use this check mark system to validate student completion of one or both of the activities. A "Show me your check marks when done." approach is a low-tech way of insuring completion. We did not see any need to provide an activity sheet for this Interactive. ​

Now available with Task Tracker compatibility. Learn more.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Plane Mirror Images Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments RM1 and RM2 of the Reflection and Mirrors module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Light Reflection
    Image Formation and Characteristics

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (not replace) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Two notable lab ideas include ...

    Reflection Lab
    Plane Mirror Image Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Plane Mirror Images into an instructional unit on light reflection and plane mirrors can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive for the Physics Interactives collection. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.

Visit: Interactive