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Grade Range
Kindergarden
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
60 minutes
Total Time
75 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
Warm, cold, shade
Learning Objectives
  • 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.)
animals protected from the sun

Overview

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.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS3-2. 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 Crosscutting Concepts
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.

Credits

Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


materials needed for create shade protect from sun lesson

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:
    1. Construction paper
    2. Transparent and opaque container lids, plastic bags, etc.
    3. Pipe cleaners, 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 Lesson section for more examples.
  • Scissors
  • 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.

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Grade Range
Kindergarden
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
60 minutes
Total Time
75 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
Warm, cold, shade
Learning Objectives
  • 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.)

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