- Sun-protection items to use as props, such as empty plastic sunscreen bottles, brimmed hats, sunglasses, loose and densely knit clothing, etc.
- Beach items to use as props, such as beach balls, towels, sand toys, etc.
- Gather materials appropriate for a pretend trip to the beach and place them in the dramatic-play area or outside in the shade.
Step 1: Have a discussion about the sun. What do students know about the sun? Can they feel the difference between being in the sun and being in the shade? Tell students how the sun's rays can cause serious sunburn. Ask if anyone has had a sunburn and what it felt like.
Step 2: Introduce ways students can protect themselves from getting sunburned. Introduce sunscreen, sunglasses, the best type of clothing to wear (loose and densely woven fabrics), and brimmed hats.
Step 3: Tell students that it is important to avoid direct exposure to the sun during peak hours, which are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Quick Tip to Share: If students see that the length of their shadow is shorter than they are tall, they need protection from the sun. On the next bright, sunny day, take students outdoors and try this simple experiment!
Step 4: Now invite students to take a pretend trip to the beach. Allow free time for students to explore their own ways of using the props. Offer suggestions and ask questions to help students explore the uses and purposes of each sun-protection product. For example, ask, "What are you going to do with that sunscreen?" to a student who is holding it. "Why do we wear sunglasses?"
Supporting All Learners
For Younger Students
Play a game of "What do I see?" with students. Pass around a pair of sunglasses so that each student can take a turn wearing the glasses. The student wearing the glasses will describe something that he sees in the classroom without identifying it. Others in the group will try to name the object from the student's description.
For Older Students
Talk with students about the way they feel on very hot, sunny days. Print students' descriptive words and phrases on a sheet of chart paper. When finished, give each student a chance to dramatize one of the descriptive words or phrases for the group.
A Day at the Beach
On pieces of construction paper, create beach scenes using real sand. Invite children to draw a sunny day at the beach. Once children finish their pictures, ask them to spread a thin layer of glue where the sand would be. Help them sprinkle sand onto the wet glue. Once the glue has dried, shake off excess sand and display for all to enjoy.
- Grandma's Beach by Rosalind Beardshaw
- Sun (Science Emergent Readers) by Susan Canizares
- The Sun Is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
- Swimsuit by Kit Allen