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What does your shadow do when you're not looking?
Spinning Sky Unit | Lesson 2 of 6
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What does your shadow do when you're not looking?
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Spinning Sky Unit | Lesson 2 of 6
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Optional Activity: Trace Your Shadow

Your students can trace their shadows, just like Jada did.

Step 1: Have students pair up and trace each other’s shadows in chalk—first in the morning, then in the afternoon. Use different colors for different times of day. Be sure students trace around their shoes first and write their names next to their shadows.

Step 2: Near each shadow, have students draw an arrow to where the sun is in the sky at that time of day.

Step 3: At the end of the day, ask students why they think their morning and afternoon shadows pointed in different directions.

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Extensions

Below is an idea for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.

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Recommended Activity: Trace Your Shadow

Your students can trace their shadows, just like Jada did.

Step 1: Have students pair up and trace each other’s shadows in chalk—first in the morning, then in the afternoon. Use different colors for different times of day. Be sure students trace around their shoes first and write their names next to their shadows.

Step 2: Near each shadow, have students draw an arrow to where the sun is in the sky at that time of day.

Step 3: At the end of the day, ask students why they think their morning and afternoon shadows pointed in different directions.

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Lesson narration:
Overview
Grade 1st
Topic Sun, Moon, & Stars
Focus Sun, Shadows, & Daily Patterns
Print Prep
Activity Prep

Switch to non-narrated version

In this Read-Along lesson, Jada explores why her shadow changes over the course of a day at the beach. The lesson includes a short exercise where students act out the movement of shadows with their bodies. You can extend the lesson with the optional activity, Trace Your Shadow, where students trace their shadows using colored chalk and track the shadow’s changes throughout the day.

Preview optional activity

COVID-19 Adaptations
Students can work solo
See our advice below

Students at home
Students need chalk to trace the shadows. If possible, students can ask a helper at home to trace their own shadows. Alternatively, students could trace the shadow of an object near their home at different times throughout the day (if they have adult supervision).
Students at school
Students can complete the activity solo if they trace the shadow of an object, like a swing set or flag pole instead of their own shadows.
Number of students:
Colored Chalk
Recommend two different colors per pair of students.
Details
30 sticks
Prep Instructions

We suggest students work in pairs. Homeschool students will need a partner to help them trace their shadow.

You will need access to a playground or other area with a blacktop. This activity works best on a sunny day when students can clearly see their shadows.

Overview
Grade 1st
Topic Sun, Moon, & Stars
Focus Sun, Shadows, & Daily Patterns
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