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Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

Designing a Shade Structure

Subject Area





In this lesson, students will design and build a structure that can block the sun to create a shaded area and will test to see if the shady spot is cooler. As a class, students go outside on a sunny day and go under a tree or in the shadow of the school building to get in the shade. Students should feel that it is cooler in the shade than in the sun. Students look at pictures of structures designed to block the sun to make shade. Students design and build a small structure to provide shade and then test whether their structure helps keep a surface cooler than the same surface exposed to the sun.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): KG


    Design and construct a device (e.g., hat, canopy, umbrella, tent) to reduce the effects of sunlight.*

    Unpacked Content



    • Design
    • Construct
    • Device
    • Sunlight
    • Reduce
    • Effects
    • Create
    • Ask
    • Imagine
    • Improve
    • Plan


    Students know:
    • The problem.
    • The design solution.
    • What way the design solution uses the given scientific information about the warming effect of the Sun on Earth's surface.


    Students are able to:
    • Use tools and materials provided to design and build a device that reduces the effects of sunlight.


    Students understand that:
    • Structures can reduce the effects of sunlight on Earth's surface.
    • Whether or not a device meets expectations in terms of cause (device reduces effects of sunlight) and effect (less warming).

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Cause and Effect
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Lesson/Unit Plan

    Resource Provider

    American Chemical Society

    License Type