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Sun Prints

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Summary

Students will use coins to help them explore the sun as a source of renewable energy.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic

Objectives

  • Students will investigate the sun as a source of renewable energy.
  • Students will be observe and describe a physical reaction.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade
  • Second grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Dime
  • Energy
  • Nickel
  • Penny
  • Quarter
  • Sun

Materials

  • Red or black construction paper OR light-sensitive paper (available at hobby or art stores)
  • A white crayon or a piece of chalk for each student
  • 5 to 15 coins for each student (they can bring them from home)
  • Sunshine

  1. Discuss the word "energy."
  2. Write these sentences on the board:
    • Energy helps us work.
    • Everything we do in our life takes energy.
    • Energy makes everything in our lives work.

  3. Ask the students where they can find energy. Answers can include food, water, electricity, the sun, TV and lights.
  4. Discuss the sun and how it functions as an energy source. (It can cook food, warm our bodies and help plants grow.) The sun is always there and we can always get energy from it. Some other sources of energy are running out.
  5. To show that the sun is an energy source, give each student a piece of construction paper (or light-sensitive paper) and some coins. The students should first write their names on the paper in chalk or white crayon.
  6. Bring the students outside in the sunshine and have them put their piece of paper on the ground where it won’t have to be moved. Then have them make a design by placing coins on their paper. Remember to keep the papers in a safe place or keep an eye on them since they have coins on them!
  7. After the designs are in the sun for a long enough time, have the students bring their papers in and remove the coins. Ask them what they see. Ask how the pattern was created on the paper. (The energy from the sun faded the paper that wasn’t covered by the coins.)
  8. Have students dictate to an older student what happened when they left their design out in the sun. Attach this writing to their picture.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Evaluate the students' participation in class and the success of their design creation.
  • Evaluate the sentences they dictated about what happened to their design.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Physical Science
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Properties of objects and materials
  • Position and motion of objects
  • Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science as Inquiry
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understand scientific inquiry

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