Lesson Plan

'Sun'-sational Descriptions

First graders observe and describe the changes and appearances of the sun.
Summer M.
Technology Instructional Coach
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My Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...observe and describe the changes and appearances of the sun during daylight hours.

Grades 1
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

BrainPOP Jr.
From $175

To build background information about the sun, allow the students to watch the 6 minute movie about the Sun on Brainpop, Jr. Movies (web app or ipad app.) It offers age appropriate facts: What is the Sun? How hot is it? What is it made of? Why is it important to us?  

After watching the movie, there is a leveled quiz that the students can take to check for understanding. There is also a comic and a cute cartoon that loosely relates to the topic.

2 Direct Instruction

Free, Paid

Now that the students are thinking about the sun, let's get them to share everything they know by creating a mindmap on Skitch.

  1. Skitch allows you to import pictures from your Photostream... I suggest using a cute picture of the sun.
  2. Import your picture and label it "Sun Facts"
  3. Now, using reflector or projectig your ipad screen have the kids tell you some facts about the sun as well as some adjectives that would describe the sun.
  4. Record their thoughts by annonating the image you have in Skitch.
  5. When you are finished, email the image to yourself and print it... now you have a handy poster to hang in your classroom for your students to refer to!                     

3 Guided Practice

Let's see what our school looks like at different times of day! 

  1. Locate your school on Google Earth.
  2. Using the "Show sunlight across the landscape" button, show what the school looks like at different times of day.
  3. Have the kids guess why it is lighter or dimmer and talk about where the location of the sun is at each time.
  4. Have the kids brainstorm words that  describe what the sun might look like at each time.

Next, use your ipad to capture pictures of the sun throughout the day. Record the time of day and try to take the picture from the same location.

  1. Ask the students if they think the sun looks different at different times. Disscus their ideas.
  2. Show the students the images and the times.
  3. Have the compare and contrast the images to develop an understanding of how the appearance of the sun changes throughout the day.


4 Independent Practice

Educreations allows students to use photos, draw and record their voices.

Have the students create brief presentations describing the changes and appearances of the sun through out the day... You can save and share the presentations that the students create.

5 Wrap-Up