- Small rock
Objectives: Children will develop their observation skills as they explore the effects of the sun.
To Prepare: Place some rocks in a shady area.
Warm-Up: Talk with children about how they use their senses to tell when it's hot outside. What happens when they're in the hot sun? How does their skin feel?
1 On a hot, sunny day, go outdoors with children. Invite them to stand in direct sunlight. Talk about how it feels. Why might it be hot? Then have them stand in the shade. Is it hotter or cooler than in the sun?
2 Ask children to touch the ground where the sun is shining. Is it warm or cool? Now feel the ground in a shady spot. How does it feel? Why do children think the ground feels warm in some places and cool in others?
3 Show children the rocks that have been in the shade. Ask them to touch the rocks and describe how they feel. Together, place them in a spot in direct sunlight. Keep one rock in the shade.
4 Later in the day, ask children to feel the rocks again. Why do children think they feel hot now? Discuss how the cold rocks absorbed the heat from the sun's rays. Ask children to feel the rocks that were in the shade. Then mix up the rocks and see if children can tell which one wasn't in the sun.
Remember: Some children may need help verbally expressing physical sensations. Suggest words such as warm, hot, and cool.
- Offer dramatic-play props for a "cooling off" trip to the beach! Provide a beach towel, flip-flops, sand toys, and so on. Place a beach umbrella over their sandbox. Add a tub of water to wade in!
- Place ice cubes in two tin trays. Put one tray in a sunny spot and the other in the shade. Ask children to predict what will happen. Then compare how long it takes the ice in each tray to melt and become water.
Read these sizzling stories about the hot sun.
I Can Tell by Touching by Carolyn Otto
Sense Suspense by Bruce McMillan
Why Does Lightning Strike? by Terry Martin