Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunlight and Shadows

Topics covered: light, shadows, sun, and moon. 
(This goes well with the rainbow and mirror lessons I have already posted!)
Younger students can use chalk to create an outline of their feet and shadow. Redraw at one hour intervals. 
Older students can use a compass, pencil, and sunclock diagram to prove that Earth is rotating toward and away from the sun.
Print the Sun Clock Diagram here

Students will:
  • Demonstrate that light travels in straight lines, or rays, unless it is bent or refracted. (website)
  • Explain that the sun stays relatively the same size, but may look smaller or larger depending on where Earth is in its rotation (looks bigger on the horizon).
  • Explain that the sun does not really rise, set, or disappear. Clouds can cover it or our side of the Earth may be experiencing night, so it is shining on the other side of Earth.
  • Demonstrate that the angle, intensity, and length of sunlight we get due to Earth's revolution on its axis and rotation around the sun determine which season we are experiencing.
  • Demonstrate why the moon appears to change size and shape.
  • Make a model to show that the moon does not give off its own light. Sunlight reflects off of it as well as other moons and planets, so that they can be seen.
Click the pictures for some great, free resources from FOSS.
Click Teacher Resources on the left, then Duplication Masters to print lab sheets.

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