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Gr. 3-5 / Ages 8-10 Through the centuries, people of all cultures have been curious about the Sun and have wanted to understand how it affects life on Earth. Many cultures have used legends to explain their observations of the Sun. Many have observed and wondered about the shadows cast by the Sun throughout the day. These shadows have been used as a means to measure and tell time. Connecting to the legendary stories of Dialga, this lesson helps students explore ways to tell time using the Sun and other natural sky objects. Students experiment with a shadow stick, or gnomon, observing relationships between the Sun's position in the sky and the length of the shadow cast by the gnomon. Their observations are documented using linear measurement and digital images. Through Internet resources, students will learn more about the Sun-Earth relationship, shadows, and early timekeeping devices. Students may extend this lesson by creating their own timekeepers and practice using stars and the Moon to tell time. The full online lesson plan can be found here.


  • Education > General
  • Educational Technology > General
  • Information & Media Literacy > General
  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics > Data Analysis & Probability
  • Mathematics > Estimation
  • Mathematics > Measurement
  • Mathematics > Problem Solving
  • Science > General
  • Science > Astronomy
  • Science > Engineering
  • Science > History of Science
  • Science > Life Sciences
  • Science > Meteorology

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NSES ISTE NCTM comets timekeeping measure measurement inference solar analysis gnomon weightlessness gravity astronaut astronomer astronomy Expansion recession big-bang telescopes spectroscopy life-cycle Spacecraft NASA rocket rocketry cosmos Sun space universe star galaxy lesson interactive animated project-based science math games 6ES multimedia Earth standards-based



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