The Sun

The Sun

Objective:  Help students discover how the light and heat from the sun affects life on the earth.

Preparation:

  • Find pictures of the sun and solar system.

  • Find a globe or a ball to use as a globe.
  • Find a lamp without a shade.  (A lamp that shines in all directions like the sun.)
  • Print out template on yellow paper or card stock or make your own sun shaped frame.  (1 for each child.) sun template
  • Trace circles onto clear contact paper about 1 inch diameter larger than the circle in the center of sun frame.  (2 for each child.)
  • Painters tape or masking tape.
  • Yarn or string for hanging the Sun catcher.
  • Tear or cut yellow, orange and red tissue paper into about one inch squares.
  • Suggested book:  Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons   

Lesson:

Read the book then discuss the sun while showing pictures.

Some discussion ideas:

  • The sun is the closest star (fiery ball of gas) to Earth and is at the center of our solar system.
  • Its gravity holds all planets and objects in the solar system in orbit.
  • The sun’s diameter is about 109 times that of the Earth.
  • The sun’s energy drives the weather, and climate.
  • The sun supports all life on Earth helping plants and animals grow.
  • The sun shines down on the Earth, giving warmth and light.
  • The sun makes the seasons. As the earth makes one complete rotation around the sun every year, the seasons on the earth change — from winter to spring to summer to fall and back to winter again.
  • Our Earth is about 93,000,000 miles from the sun. To give you an idea about how far that is, suppose we could build a highway and drive a car to the sun. Let’s drive 65 miles per hour. It would take over 160 YEARS to get there!

Demonstrate how the Sun and Earth work together:

  • Locate your city, state or country on the globe. using the lamp as the Sun, slowly rotate the globe and showing students how the Earth rotates, resulting in day and night. 
  • You can also demonstrate seasons by holding the lamp next to the globe and explaining how the earth is tilted on its axis. Rotate the globe around the lamp showing how the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun which causes the sun to rise higher in the sky and set later causing longer days. The rays of the sun hit the earth more directly causing hotter weather or Summer.  Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is tilted away from the Sun.  The Sun rises low in the sky, and sets earlier causing shorter days. The rays of the sun strike the ground more indirectly causing colder weather.


Activity: Help the children make a sun catcher.  Let them do as much as they are able:

  • Cut out the sun and the circle in the center.
  • Cut out the contact or self-laminating paper circles.
  • Peel off the backing of one of the contact paper circles and tape onto table sticky side up with painters tape or masking tape.
  • Stick frame onto the contact paper.
  • Stick overlapping pieces of tissue paper on the contact paper.
  • When completely filled with tissue paper, stick another circle of contact paper to the top, then remove tape.
  • Use a hole punch or the end of a pencil to make a hole in the paper frame and thread a piece of yarn through and tie the ends together so that the sun catcher can be hung.
  • Stick frame onto the contact paper.

    Stick frame onto the contact paper.

    Stick overlapping pieces of tissue paper on the contact paper.

    Stick overlapping pieces of tissue paper on the contact paper.

     

    Vehicle book (5 of 7)

    When completely filled with tissue paper stick another circle of contact paper to the top, then remove tape.

    When completely filled with tissue paper stick another circle of contact paper to the top, then remove tape.

     

    Vehicle book (7 of 7)

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