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5th Grade

Mikayla Eshleman
Shadow Clock: Evidence of Shadow Length and Direction

Standard:
5-ESS1-2- Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in
length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of
some stars in the night sky.
Objectives:
1) The learner will demonstrate the evolving patterns of daily shadows (length and
directions) by recording their shadows.
2) The learner will show patterns of shadows given by the sun on a graph with the
data collected.
Misconceptions:
The stronger the source of light the bigger the shadow and the bigger
the source of light the smaller the shadow.
The distance light travels depends on day or night.
A shadow is a reflection from the Sun.
The size of the shadow is based upon the size of the object.
Materials and setup:
Each person: Pen, markers, and paper or notebook.
The pen and marker will be used for the engage worksheet as well as the explain
graphing activity. The paper and pen will be used for the elaborate quick write.
Each group will need: Compass, meter stick, and chalk
Groups will be provided a bag full of group materials and used during the explore
activity. The group will bring the bag out every time they trace.
Safety:
Never look at the sun directly while we are outside and keep chalk out of mouth.
Requisite Knowledge:
Students will know how the sun rotates around the earth creating day and night and
changing the seasons. Based off of the previous next generation space system
science standards:
1-ESS1-1: Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that
can be predicted.
1-ESS1-2: Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of
daylight to the time of year.
Engage:
10 mins.
Warm up question to start their thinking on shadows.
Ask students: Where they think shadows come from? Do the different angles of light
effect the shadow? Please draw a picture of the angles and the shadow that would

occur, including a small explanation of why you think this way. Students will record
thoughts on the handout.
Explore:
60mins. But spread out throughout day.
Students will trace shadows outside throughout the day, and needs to be a sunny
day. The tracings will occur every hour for about 5-10 mins outside at a time. Each
student will have a partner to be their tracing buddy. The students will follow these
directions:
1. Find your designated area, leaving room around yourself for your
shadow. Once spot is found partner will draw a circle around your feet and
place your initials inside with chalk. Partners switch roles. (This will be the
spot you stand at every time you measure your shadow)
2. When standing in your spot, your partner will trace your entire shadow
and add the time clearly by this line. Partners switch roles.
3. On your handout Shadow Clock fill in the time your tracing occurred
at, the length of shadow, the direction of shadow, the location of the sun, and
any other observations.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 every time we go outside to trace.
Questions to guide/ redirect with:
How come the shadow is short right now?
How come the shadow is long right now?
Have you started to notice a trend?
Does it change when you move your body?
What do you notice about your shadow right now? The length, width,
etc.
What changed since the last time we were outside?
Are your partners and your shadows different? How? Why?
Explain:
50 mins.
Start with an open discussion on what occurred throughout the prior day to review
and prepare for the graphing extension.
Guided questions:
What patterns have you noticed? Why do you suppose this occurred?
What have you found so far or can remember from yesterday?
Has your initial thoughts changed? How come if yes?
What happened when you went home did you notice the shadow? Did it
get longer or shorter? Explain?

Teachers explanation of the suns shadows patterns: Shadows are created when an
object, such as the stick below or person, blocks out some of the Sun's light. The
length of the resulting shadow depends on how low or high the Sun is in the sky.
Shadows change during the day based on the time of day and the location of the
sun. The shadow is the longest when the sun is an acute angle with the ground,
such as morning and night. Shadows are their shortest when the sun is
perpendicular to the object on the ground. This occurs around noon or mid-day.
From noon to dawn the shadow continuously lengthens as the sun moves towards
the west. The direction of the shadow depends on the time of day, based on if it is in
the morning or night and where the sun is in the sky. In the morning the sun rises in
the east. So if you are facing north, the sun will be on your right (the east) and your
shadow would be on your left (the west). The sun sets in the west and your shadow
direction would be facing the east. The shadow moves clockwise in the northern
hemisphere.
Follow with graphing the data students collected the day prior. With the students
data, they will create graph and table. Students will decide the best way to set up
graph and create graph on their findings while measuring the time vs. length.
Example provided.
Elaborate:
10 mins.
Writing Extension: Have students do a quick write on: What would happen if the sun
rose in the north and set in the south? How would this affect the shadows and daily
life (season, etc.)? Where would you want to live based on this scenario?
Evaluate:
Instructio
nal
Activity
Engage
Explore

Assessment (Evaluate)
Briefly describe how each objective is met/assessed throughout the
lesson. Each objective does not need to be assessed in each part of
the lesson. At least ONE objective must have a summative
assessment in ONE of the Es.
Get students ideas starting to flow, no objective being measured
yet.
Tracing the shadows and collecting date serve as the first objectives
assessment. The assessment will be graded by participation with
the activity, use checklist to grade.
CATEGORY:
Participated in
tracing shadow.
Helped and
worked well with
partner.
Stayed on task.
Filled in
worksheet.

Have

Do not have

Explain

The graph will serve as the


on based on rubric.
CATEGORY: 4
Title
Title
clearly
relates to
the
information
being
graphed. It
is printed
at the top
of the
graph.
Labels
Labels are
neat and
clear and
accurately
describe
the
information
presented.
Units

Accuracy

All units
are
described
and are
appropriat
ely sized
for the
data set.
Data is
100%
accurately
plotted
with neatly
drawn data
points and
an
appropriat
e
line/curve
that fit the
data.

second objectives assessment. Graded


3
Title
relates to
the
information
being
graphed
and is
printed at
the top of
the graph.
Labels are
clear and
describe
the
information
presented.

2
A title is
present at
the top of
the graph.

The labels
are
present,
but may
not
describe
the
information
.
Most units
All units
are
are
described
described
and are
but are not
appropriat appropriat
ely sized
ely sized
for the
for the
data set.
data set.
Data is
Data is
90%
70%
accurately accurate.
plotted.
Data points
Data points are Line/
and
curve are
line/curve
messy, not
are clear
matching
and match the data
the data
well.
well.

1
A title is
not
present.

Labels are
not
present.

Units are
neither
described
NOR
appropriat
ely sized
for the
data set.
Data is not
accurately
plotted and
shows no
neatness
or clarity.

Neatness
and
Attractive
ness

Elaborate

Exceptiona
lly well
designed,
neat, and
attractive.
Colors that
go well
together
are used to
make the
graph
more
readable. A
ruler was
used.

Neat and
relatively
attractive.
A ruler was
used to
make the
graph
more
readable.

Lines are
neatly
drawn but
the graph
appears
quite plain.

Appears
messy and
"thrown
together"
in a hurry.
Lines are
visibly
crooked.

Not measuring any objective but could add in an English objective,


such as the standard below:
W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point
of view with reasons and information.

References:
Barrow, Lloyd H. "Helping Students Construct Understanding about Shadows."
Journal of Education and Learning 1.2 (2012). Web.
<http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v1n2p188>.
Sampson, V., and S. Schleigh. 2013. Scientific argumentation in biology: 30
Classroom activities. Arlington, Virginia: NSTA. Press.
The Children's University of Manchester. (2012). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from
http://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk/

Shadow Clock
Time

Length of
Shadow

Direction of
Shadow

Sun location

Other
Observation
s

Shadow Warm-up

Name: ____________________________________
_____________________________

Date:

Where do shadows come from?


_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Draw the shadows based off these sun positions. At the back give me a small
explanation on why you decided to place the shadows this way.

Example of how a basic graph should look: