At the end of this lesson, students will be able to contrast day-time and night-time activities and recognize the pattern of a day and night cycle and explore the characteristics of shadows.
Possible books that may be sued to enrich student / teacher understanding:
This lesson gives hands-on instruction for kindergarten students. Students will explore activities they do during the day, and possible nighttime activities. They will then manipulate and sort a variety of daily activity cards. The teacher will help students understand that there is a pattern to each day (day, night, day, night, etc.). The activities are intended to help show the day/night pattern. The teacher will want to present this lesson with a series of activities that build upon each other. This is only one lesson to introduce the concept of day and night; in the "Additional Activities" section, you will find more ways to further enrich student understanding of the pattern, and introduce shadows and their relationship to the sun.
Included in the bibliography are books that are excellent to facilitate the teacher's understanding of the science content.
Invitation to Learn:
Launch (introduction): (10 minutes)
At the carpet, introduce your lesson by questioning students' prior knowledge about day and night and their relationship to the sun and moon.
As a whole class, identify things students do during the day, when it is light outside. They may indicate things such as eating, playing, doing chores, shopping, school, watching television, etc. As students identify things, display the picture cards of daytime and nighttime activities (see attached blacklines) in a pocket chart under the appropriate daytime and nighttime headings.
After the teacher discusses the picture cards, she will then follow-up with these questions:
As a whole class, identify things students do during the evening, when it is dark outside. If they turn a light on inside, they can eat, read, watch television, take baths, etc. (You must emphasize that they have to turn a light on; the sun doesn't make light in their house at night.) They sleep when the sun and all other lights are off.
Explore (Individual and Small Group Work): (10 minutes)
Have students go back to their tables and explore all the picture cards. Each table will have a set of cards for students to manipulate. Students will sort them under the picture headings (see attached blacklines) according to things they can do during the day and things they do at night.
Discuss (Whole Group Discussion): (20 minutes)
Practice (Review): (20 minutes)
Divide students into two different groups. One group will have a large poster paper that is black. The other group will have a yellow one. Using blank 8_"x 11" white paper, students will draw one activity they do during the day or night (you will make this assignment according to the color of the paper the students will be working with.) Students will label the picture they drew in a sentence format. For instance, one student drew a bathtub and wrote, "I take my bath at night."
Gather students back together at the carpet and review the activities that their classmates do during the day and night. Display student work and encourage students to observe how their classmates do things that are the same as they do during the day or evening.
Day and Night Song and Day / Night Pattern Exploration:
Have all the students stand in their spots at the carpet. In front of them will be a posted picture representing the daylight, and behind them will be a posted picture representing nighttime (see attached blacklines). Reflect on the previous day's lesson -- how you can do things during the day and different things at night, and how it makes a pattern. Students will take one finger and point to the picture representing sunshine or daytime, then rotate behind them and point to the picture representing nighttime. Remind them that it is a pattern. As you sing the following song, they will point to the sun, and then rotate to show the nighttime as you sing about night. On the "day and night" chorus, they will quickly point to day and then quickly rotate so they are pointing to the night. NOTE: This links directly to the student's ability to follow directions and learn through movement.
(To the tune of "Are You Sleeping")
The sun is shining, the sun is shining. (Point to the sunshine picture.)
It is day, it is day.
The sun is gone and now it's night (Rotate and point to nighttime picture.)
We can't see things without a light.
Day and night, (Rotate back and forth between pictures.)
Day and night.
When you are finished, take the sun and moon pattern cards (see attached blacklines) and show the "ABAB" pattern in a pocket chart. Show students how it is always in that pattern; it would never be sun, sun, moon, or moon, sun, sun. It is always sun, moon, sun moon.
Sing the song a second time, and with a pointer point to the pattern cards so the children can see the representation of the day and night pattern.
On a large chart paper or an overhead, display the following poem:
When the sun is shining, I do so many things.
I play outside at the park and go high on the swings.
I eat, I drink, I shop, and snuggle while I read.
It's fun to have the sun, it helps grow the things I need.
But now the night is coming, the sun seems to go and hide.
It's time to bathe and dress for bed, it's getting dark outside.
The sun has moved and now it's dark, my sleepy eyes fall asleep.
Soon morning comes, my room is bright, the sun is back to keep!
Explore the use of compound words by writing compound words that include sun (sunshine, sunlight, sunbeam). Write the word on a sentence strip and show it as a whole word, then cut the word into parts and demonstrate how you have two words. You can explore other compound vocabulary words from this unit, such as daytime, and nighttime.
For this activity you will need a flashlight and several small objects, (pencil, marker, toy, block, pencil holder, etc.). Put the picture of a sun (see attached blackline) on the flashlight, indicating that the flashlight will act as the sun. Put a large piece of white paper underneath the objects. Have the students circle around so all can see, and shine the flashlight on the objects. Ask the children to notice what happens to the white paper as you shine the flashlight. Do this several times moving the flashlight to different locations. The following questions will help build understanding:
Shine the light on the objects again, and trace in the shadows. As you do it, explain that the light can't go through the object, so a shadow is made.
Exploring How Shadows Change:
This activity takes place several times during the day. It must be a sunny day, and you must have three different times (approximately 10 minutes each) to take the students outside to mark their shadows. Bring children to the carpet. Read Moonbear's Shadow by Frank Asch. Tell the students that you are going to go outside and see how their shadows are the same as Moonbear's.
Take the students out to the playground. Have one student stand in a designated spot (you will return to this same spot later, so you may need to mark it.) Have the student put his/her arms out and with sidewalk chalk you trace the shadow. Have the students observe where the sun is, but instruct them that it is harmful to look at the sun. Return to the classroom. Return two more times that day, have the same student stand in the same spot and trace the student's shadow again. You may want to use a different color of sidewalk chalk. Return to the classroom for whole group discussion. The following questions should be asked after you are finished tracing the student's shadow three different times.
Students will go outside and stand in a long horizontal line so that their shadows are in front of them. When you count to three, the students will raise their arms and dance until you say stop. When you say stop, the students will freeze and look at their shadows. They will compare to see if their shadow is doing what they are doing. Continue doing this several times.
Shadow Bean Bag Toss:
Students will be paired with another classmate. Each pair will have one bean bag or other small object that can be safely tossed. Students will stand together so that their shadow is in front of them. One student will stand in that spot and the other student will take 10 steps away from his / her partner. This student will take the bean bag and toss it onto his/her partner's shadow. You can give them criteria for the toss such as, "This time, try to get the bean bag onto the shadow's head / stomach / leg, etc." Repeat this activity several times with each partner.
Exploring Shadows Outside:
This activity requires each student to have an 8_" x 11" piece of white paper. Students will bring their paper outside. When you get outside, you can explore shadows from the buildings, playgrounds, homes, etc., as a whole group. Then each student can do a shadow walk. Have each student take his/her white paper and put it behind objects (flowers, grass, fence posts, playground equipment, etc.) to see what kind of shadow the object makes.
What Shadow Am I?:
Students should be assigned in pairs; each pair will have an 8_" x 11" piece of white paper. Each pair of students takes one classroom object. Students have a flashlight (or you can take the paper and object outside), and one student creates a shadow with the flashlight while the other student traces the shadow outline. Students turn their papers over and label the object their shadow was made from. As a whole class, students show their shadow picture to the rest of the class for the class to guess the object that made the shadow.
Assignments to do with parents: