The Early Years: The Sun's Energyby: Peggy Ashbrook

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Understanding the connection between the Sun’s energy and sustaining life is difficult for preschoolers, but learning about these concepts through both long and short-term activities captures children’s short attention spans. Activities such as growing plants in sunlight and without light, playing with light and shadow, and making “sun prints” explore light—in this case how the Sun’s light is different from lamplight.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (5)
  • on Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:14 AM

This article has a wealth of ideas on how to explore sunlight and light in general with young students. The lesson plan that is included has detailed instructions on how to do sun prints. Other ideas for sun activities is growing plants with and without light, playing with light and shadows, and using prisms to separate visible sunlight.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:22 AM

This resource gives several suggestions on how to conduct short-term experiments that will grab the students’ attentions such as growing plants in sunlight and without light, playing with light and shadow, etc. The article explains how children grasp the concept of the sun’s energy and provides suggestions on what teachers could do with their students. For example, on a sunny day, teachers could go outside and discuss how to describe the sunlight with our senses. It’s imperative to remind the students of how dangerous it can be if a person looks directly at the sun because of how strong it is, which could lead into the topic of eye safety. The article elaborates on the importance of discussion and engagement of the students. It concludes with providing a lesson plan on making sun prints. Overall, this resource is a good foundation and introduction for the younger students to be exposed to the topic of the sun's energy.

Heejin Jeon
Heejin Jeon

  • on Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:19 PM

This article presents us with a great understanding of how to relate sun energy to preschool age children. With a great activity on how to demonstrate light energy, this article also presents us with possible questions to ask our students. Although this lesson is very basic, it provides students with a better understanding of how sun energy works in every day life.

Sondra S
Sondra S

  • on Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:27 PM

The article presents suggestions for laying the foundation for the concept of how energy from the sun supports life. The author describes some meaningful experiences for young students (pre-K-grade 2) that will encourage them to think about the energy from the sun. What is really great is that the author provides complete instructions on how to have students make sun prints and how to incorporate this as a learning activity

Kathy Sparrow  (Delray Beach, FL)
Kathy Sparrow (Delray Beach, FL)

  • on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:12 AM

This article provides an article that helps young children grasp the concept of light from the sun. In particular that there are parts of that sunlight we cannot see. Using light sensitive paper prints of common objects are made outdoors and indoors. Reading about light can occur as children wait for image to appear outside while waiting in the shade. While the prints occur both in outdoor light and indoor light I don’t see how young children can make the connection between visible and invisible light waves (UV light) which is the stated objective.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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