ALEX Classroom Resource


Designing a Shade Structure

  Classroom Resource Information  


Designing a Shade Structure


Content Source:

American Chemical Society
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


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.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: K
8 ) Design and construct a device (e.g., hat, canopy, umbrella, tent) to reduce the effects of sunlight.*

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E4.7: The Sun warms the land, air, and water and helps plants grow.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Design a device to reduce the effects of sunlight.
  • Construct a device to reduce the effects of sunlight.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • 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).
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Weather Walk
*Weather, STC
*Sunny Sandbox, ETA/hand2mind
*Clouds, GLOBE

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.K.8- Participate in the construction of a device to reduce the effects of sunlight.

Tags: canopy, construct, design, device, shade, sun, sunlight
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
For full descriptions of license types and a guide to usage, visit :
  This resource provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver