Introduction (30 minutes)
What part of outer space can we see from the earth? (the sky) What do you know about the sky? Tell me some things you might see in the sky. Make a "Things We See In The Sky" chart on a chart tablet. (moon, stars, blue, clouds, rain, snow, lightning, sun, etc.) Show the video and learn the song.
What is the earth? Discuss and record on a chart tablet. (our world, has water and land, a planet, it moves, etc.) Show a globe and tell them it is a model of our earth. Locate the water and land on the earth. Use an inflatable globe ball to play a water/land game. Have the children show you their right thumb. Once everyone knows the correct finger, tell them you are going to throw the ball to them and they need to tell you if their right thumb is touching land or water when they catch the globe. Record their findings and determine whether they found land or water more or less by looking at the data after throwing the ball at least 10 times. Look at the globe again and determine if there is more water or land on earth as a whole. Tell them the land is called continents-people, plants, and animals can live there; and the larger bodies of water are called oceans-plants and animals can live there. (If you want to teach them the names of oceans and continents, use the Dr. Jean CD-Going Green.)
Tell them we all live on the earth and show them their state and city on a map or globe. (Google Earth would be a good tool to use here as a model of the earth.) If you have any students who've lived in other states or countries, point those out on the globe or map. If not, ask them for any relatives or places they've traveled to point out. Tell them the sky connects all the places on the earth and discuss how we know this. (Wherever we are we can look up and see the sky.)
Lesson 1 (30 minutes)
Refer back to the chart on the sky. Select the sun from the list as your focus. Let them tell you some things they know about the sun. (You can make a KWL-know, want to know, learned or OWL-observe, wonder, learn chart here to go back to as the class has more questions or gains more knowledge about the sun to record and assess learning).
Read a trade book about the sun to obtain some background knowledge and confirm observations. (Check materials for suggested titles.)
Sing Mr. Sun for some movement and literacy practice. Use the YouTube video with words. Listen for and look for sight words in the song.
Lesson 2 (approximately 30 minutes)
By a show of hands, check to see how many people have ever been outside on a sunny day. Have them share some things they noticed happening as a result of the sun shining. (hot, warm, sweating, people wearing shorts or sunglasses, bright, ground hot, beach water warm, etc.) Add these observations to your chart. Show a picture of people on the beach on a sunny day. If they've ever been to the beach on a hot day, ask them what it felt like to walk on the sand or get in the water. What about walking on a sidewalk or even in the grass on a sunny day? Sun heats the earth's surface making things feel hot. Watch a video about the effects of sunlight on the earth's surface.
Turn and talk to your partner about something you learned. The teacher will listen to observations and make comments on their observations to guide their discussions. Restate some of the comments the students made and tell them you'll be adding this new information in the "learned" section on the chart.
Students return to tables to draw a picture and write at least one new thing they learned about the sun in their science journal. (quick assessment)
Sing Mr. Sun to open up the lesson today.
Explore and read this NASA website with your students.
Briefly review the greenhouse effect and how it affects the earth's surface. (can lead to global warming; causes evaporation) Have the class tell you some natural ways to protect the earth's surface from the sun. (trees, clouds) Have them draw this in their science notebook with a heading strip. (See attachments) You add this new information to the OWL or KWL chart.
What if there were no trees or clouds? Could scientists design and engineer something to help protect the earth against the sun? Let them ponder this question. Then have them show a thumbs up or down to indicate yes or no.
Lesson 4 (approximately 30 minutes)
Tell them today they are going to work as engineers designing a device to protect the earth against the sun. By a show of hands, find out how many have thought of something they might want to design. Give them the option to work with a group, a partner, or individually. You can let them sign up for groups or partners or assign them. Explain the experiment and follow the steps below.
Scenario: You are on a vacation at the beach. The sand (or water) is too hot to walk on. Can you design a device to keep the sand (or water) in your area of the beach cool?
Provide a predetermined amount of sand (or water) for each group along with a thermometer. Place each group's substance in a sunny place with a thermometer in it to measure the temperature. (They can also use their hands to feel the temperature) Check the thermometer before placing the cooling devices over, on, around, etc. the substance and record the temperature. Once the entire group is ready to test, place the devices over the sand or water for a predetermined amount of time. When time is up, check the thermometer and record the temperature. (Do a hand check as well.) Determine whether or not your device was effective. Is the temperature lower, higher, or the same? What do you think caused the temperature variation? Do you need to redesign? Record this information on your recording sheet.
Once in engineering groups:
- Draw a picture or blue print of your device. (only 1 blueprint per group)
- Share blueprint with teacher for approval.
- Select materials to create your design.
- Build it.
- Test it to see if it meets the requirements from the checklist.
- Set it up for testing. (Take a picture for your science notebook.)
- Record data from test.
- Collect data to determine if device is effective.