Sun Prints


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


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


  • K
  • 1st
  • 2nd

Class Time

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


  • 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

Lesson Steps

  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.
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  • Evaluate the students' participation in class and the success of their design creation.
  • Evaluate the sentences they dictated about what happened to their design.

Common Core Standards

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

National Standards

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

  • 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

  • Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understand scientific inquiry