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Sun Science in Kindergarten

Finding science lessons and curricuum that cover all of the NGSS standards can be difficult! When the standards first came out it was a challenge to decipher them and find meaningful activities for the classroom. Today I wanted to share with you how I tackled K-PS3 and taught my students some sun science.

NGSS Standards

In my experience, curriculum companies have yet to catch up with the NGSS standards, and even if they have, many schools don’t readily adopt new science curriculum. The work lies with the teachers to bring the standards to life for their students. I’ve written about the topic of NGSS standards and STEM lessons before if you would like to check out my previous posts:

For the first component of this standard, I chose to focus on the benefits of the sun, and also what we can do to protect against the sun.

The second part of the standard is obviously a perfect opportunity for a STEM project.

Prior Knowledge

I found a couple of books that I really liked about the sun. The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal also has some great illustrations of the water cycle that can be used during a different lesson.

If you are looking for additional science literature resources check out my list of the best science books for kindergarten.

Benefits of the Sun

After we learned a little but about the sun from out literature choices, we discussed what the sun does for us and why it’s essential to our planet. We completed this quick worksheet to help us remember the gifts of the sun.

gifts of the sun worksheet

The Sun’s Effects

Next we talked about how we can have too much of a good thing when it comes to the sun and how we need to take precautions when we are out in the sun for too long. Both of these pages went into our Interactive Science Notebooks.

Sun protection worksheet

Sun Science STEM Project

After we built up our prior knowledge about the sun, we built shade structures to “reduce the warming effects of sunlight on an area.”

I collected the recycling at my house for a week of two and brought in some materials for them to use.  They began the project by sketching the preliminary design for their structure. Most of my groups just created a simple model on the paper, one group decided to make a “shopping list” of the items they wanted from the recycling pile.

After they made their lists or pictures they got what they needed from the recycling pile and got to work.  I walked around with tape for them to use and observed them making their creations.

Overall, I was extremely happy how these turned out.  I gave them very little direction and it was amazing to see the students that just had a natural talent for engineering and spatial reasoning. 

It was also very interesting to see which students could visualize what they wanted before creating it, and which ones had to get their hands on the materials to manipulate them in order to see the direction they wanted to go in.

I know there’s a lot more to this standard than these activities.  Each NGSS is multi-layered and requires research and in-depth study, but I am happy with our start on this one!

If you would like a free copy of these sun science activities to help you get started on this standard, click HERE.

Check out my Kindergarten Interactive Science Notebooks for more kindergarten science fun! I also have a wide varity of different science posts on my website for you to check out!

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