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Land of the Midnight Sun

Grades 2-3
Science, Language Arts


Starting with the Denali National Park and Preserve quarter, the students will visit the park’s website to understand how day length changes with the Earth’s location.  After a reading on Alaska, the class will brainstorm reasons why Alaskan days can be so long.  After a demonstration using a flashlight and basketball and a reading about the sun, the class will discuss the Earth/sun relationship’s effect on day and night length and on Alaskan animals.  The students will use the “Life in the Midnight Sun” worksheet to describe how day length affects them.


Denali National Park and Preserve Quarter Reverse

United States Map

Life in the Midnight Sun


The file below contains the lesson plan and all the associated worksheets.  When you click on the link, the PDF will open if you have the free Acrobat Reader plug-in installed.  Depending on your browser's settings, the lesson plan will open in this tab, in a new tab, or in a new window.

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Land of the Midnight Sun

National Standards


National Science Teachers Association (

  • Earth and Space Science: Objects in the sky and Changes in the earth and sky

Language Arts

National Council of Teachers of English ( and International Reading Association (

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

The Department of the Treasury Seal