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Let's teach! Primary

Lesson 3

How does the sun make shadows?

Lesson Plan

Preparation

  • Collect the equipment needed to make the sundial on experiment sheet. Choose a sunny day without wind or rain to carry out the activity.

Curriculum links

  • Australian Curriculum: ACSSU048, ACSHE050, ACSIS053, ACSIS054, ACSIS215, ACSIS060
  • NSW Curriculum: ST2-10ES-S, ST2-1WS-S, ST2-4LW-S
  • VIC Curriculum: VCSSU061, VCSIS065, VCSIS066, VCSIS068, VCSIS071, VCSIS072
  • WA Curriculum: ACSSU048, ACSHE050, ACSIS053, ACSIS054, ACSIS215, ACSIS060

Suggested teaching strategies

Introduction

  • Display the digital lesson on your smartboard to introduce the concept of days, nights, years and seasons.

Development

  • Provide students with printable versions of the student summary and worksheet. Have students complete the worksheet.

Differentiation

  • As an extension activity, students can pick one of the objects from the student summary to research and create a poster about.

Conclusion

  • Students can share their research as a whole class or in groups or pairs.

Assessment

Worksheet answers

1. A shadow is made when an object blocks out light, such as from the sun.
2. It leaves a dark area because it is a space where no light can reach.
3. (b)
4. (a) The sun should be to the left of the picture and low in the sky. (b) The sun should be directly over the dog in the picture.
5. Answer should indicate that your shadow can’t be seen as the clouds block much of the sun’s light so the light isn’t bright enough to form a shadow.
6. (a) behind you (b) in front of you (c) to your left

Investigation sheet answers

1. For students to have predicted correctly, they should draw a line from the pencil to the edge of the card at a slightly higher interval from the 9 am measurement.
2. Teacher check.
3. Answers should indicate that at each hour, the pencil cast a shadow further away from the previous hour. The intervals look similar to those on a clock.
4. Possible answers: A sundial can only be used to tell the time on a sunny day. It’s hard to tell the exact time between the hours. The sundial isn’t as accurate as a clock. It would be hard to use a sundial inside. Note: If students repeat this activity in exactly the same way more than two weeks later, they will find the shadows are different and don’t align with the marks on the card from the previous activity. This is because the position of the sun changes throughout the year, due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit and its axial tilt.

Student Pages

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Intro 1
Lesson 3
Why does the sun make shadows?
Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Intro 2
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Lesson 3
Why does the sun make shadows?
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Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 1

On a sunny day, have you ever played a game outside with someone where you try to jump on each other’s shadow?

Do you know how a shadow is made?

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 2

A shadow is made when an object blocks out a bright light, such as the sun, a torch or a streetlight.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 3

When you stand outside on a sunny day, your body blocks out some of the sunlight from reaching the ground.

Light travels in a straight line. It cannot bend very well around you.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 4

Your shadow is the dark area on the ground in the shape of your body.

It is dark because it is a space where light can’t reach.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 5

Have you noticed that your shadow can change size?

Sometimes it looks long, other times it looks short and sometimes it has almost disappeared.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 6

Your shadow will be long at this time of the day.

It depends on where the sun appears in the sky.

Early in the morning the sun appears low in the sky.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 7

Your shadow will be shorter.

Later in the morning, the sun appears higher in the sky.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 8

Your shadow is the shortest at this time of day.

By noon, in the middle of the day, the sun appears almost directly overhead.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 8

The same pattern happens in the afternoon.

Your shadow gradually gets longer as it gets later in the afternoon and the sun appears lower in the sky.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 9

Did you know it is not the sun that moves across the sky during the day?

It is the Earth that moves.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 10

The Earth rotates (spins) once every 24 hours.

Because it is spinning, it makes the sun appear to move.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 11

Another fact you will notice about your shadow is that when you are facing the sun, your shadow is always behind you.

When the sun is behind you, your shadow is always in front of you.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 12

If you are standing sideways, your shadow will be to one side.

If your left side is facing the sun, your shadow is on your right.

If your right side is facing the sun, your shadow is on your left.

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Slide 13

Go outside at different times of the day and check these facts for yourself!

Science Year 3 Unit 3 Lesson 3 Final Slide
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Downloads

Student Summary

Summary of student page information

Worksheet

Activities for students to complete

Investigation Worksheet

An experiment to consolidate learnings

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