In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about the sun.These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Sun topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About the Sun
Have small groups or pairs make a pinhole camera. Use a pin or the end of a pencil to poke a hole into one sheet of paper. Have one partner hold the paper up to the Sun and another partner place a plain sheet of white paper below it. He or she may need to move the paper around until an image of the Sun is cast onto the paper. Have group members observe what they see and discuss. One group member can trace the image, draw pictures of the pinhole image, and take notes about their observations. You may wish to do this activity several times during the week, month, or year. How do the images change?
As a language arts and social studies connection, research different folktales about the Sun together. Many cultures have stories about how the Sun came to be or why the Sun travels across the sky. For example, there are many ancient Egyptian tales about Ra, the god of the Sun, and how he drove his chariot across the sky. Invite students to research at the library or on the Internet to find examples of folktales about the Sun. They can share the stories with the class or even write their own versions and illustrate them.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About the Sun
Trip to the Science Museum
If possible, take your child on a trip to your local science museum or children’s museum. Explore the space section together. Encourage your child to take a notebook so he or she can jot down notes, draw pictures, or write down questions. Many museums have opportunities to ask experts or take guided tours in the space galleries.
Together with your child, watch a sunrise and a sunset. This requires waking up early! We recommend reading your local paper or listening to your local forecast to find out the time of the sunrise and sunset in your area. As you watch with your child, ask questions. How does the sky change? What does the Sun look like? How does the color of the sky change? Choose a section of the sky to observe, and record the color at regular time intervals throughout the sunset or sunrise. Make sure you warn your child not to look directly at the Sun! We recommend creating a pinhole camera together (see above for directions).
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