Sunlight and Shadow – Background

The sun gives a rhythm to our lives – day follows night, shadows grow shorter and longer, the seasons follow a regular progression over the year. We are adapted to these daily and seasonal changes, and our lives are structured around them. Bats hunt at night and dragonflies in the daytime, leaves turn colors in the fall, buds swell in the spring. Whether plant or animal, diurnal or nocturnal, all living things depend on the sun for providing heat and light and making our planet habitable. Continue reading Sunlight and Shadow – Background

Sunlight and Shadow – Activities

**Caution: It is not safe to look directly at the sun!**

FOCUS: As the Earth spins on its axis and travels around the sun, we experience day and night and the seasons. The sun’s rays give us energy in the form of light and heat. Solar energy warms the Earth, fuels the water cycle, and generates our weather systems. It provides the energy for plants to carry out photosynthesis, the basis of food chains and webs, and the conditions in which living things can exist. Through engineering we can also harness the sun’s energy for our own uses.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about the sun.

*Remind children that they must never look directly at the sun because it can harm their eyes.

Remind children that looking directly at the sun can be harmful to their eyes. Have everyone close their eyes and turn slowly in a circle two times, and then stop when they feel the sun shining on the back of their heads. Where will their shadows be? Continue reading Sunlight and Shadow – Activities

Sunlight and Shadow – Puppet Show

The Sun is Falling!

Characters: Gracie Grouse, Myrtle Turtle, Honeybee, Rosie Raspberry, Benjy Bear.

Gracie Grouse  Squawk, squawk! Look out, look out! The sun is falling! The sun is falling!

Myrtle Turtle: The sun is falling? How do you know, Gracie Grouse?

Grouse  How do I know? Why, it was high up above my head just a little while ago. And now look, it’s halfway down the sky. It must be falling down! Continue reading Sunlight and Shadow – Puppet Show

Sunlight and Shadow – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Sunlight and Shadow – Standards