Students will enter this lesson knowing that materials get warm in the sun. In this fun follow-up activity, your students will get creative with craft materials. They will figure out how to protect an "animal" and its territory from getting too hot in the sun. What will they build to keep their animals cool?
This lesson connects effortlessly with the How Sunlight Warms the Earth lesson.
This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards
Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:
|Science & Engineering Practices
||Disciplinary Core Ideas
|Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.
Use tools and materials provided to design and build a device that solves a specific problem or a solution to a specific problem.
Developing and Using Models.
Compare models to identify common features and differences.
Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool
|PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
Sunlight warms Earth's surface.
||Cause and Effect.
Events have causes that generate observable patterns.
Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
For each group of 2–3 students, you will need:
- Cups partially filled with dry soil, sand, or rocks, one per student. The cups from the previous
lesson can be reused for this lesson. If you do so, replace the water with soil, sand, or rocks so each student has one cup filled with a dry material.
- Craft materials like:
- Construction paper
- Transparent and opaque container lids, plastic bags, etc.
craft sticks, etc.
- Small toy animal, one per student, or materials to craft a small animal. The animal needs to fit in the cup with room to spare. Animals can be made from a pompom with googly eyes, modeling clay, or drawn on cardboard or paper. See Figure 4 in the
section for more examples.
- School glue or tape
For the entire class, you will need:
- One additional cup of each type of dry material that the students have.
- A place in the sun to leave the cups, preferably indoors (e.g. a window sill). If you place the cups outside, try to find an area protected from wind.
If this is not available, a place under an incandescent light source of 60 watts or higher is fine too.
Be the first one to review
this lesson plan.
Weather & Atmosphere
Warm, cold, shade
- To explain the problem to solve, their solution, and whether that solution solves the problem.
- To explain that blocking sunlight or providing shade causes a solution to have the desired effect (less warming of the surface.)