Design shelter to protect an animal from the sun

Design shelter to protect an animal from the sun

I can design a shelter that would protect an animal from the sun.

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Design shelter to protect an animal from the sun

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In this lesson, students learn that people and animals need shelter from extreme weather. This can include the sun. They will go over the effects of the sun (light and heat). Although important, sometimes the sunlight is too strong and hot so animals need protection from the sun. They can seek places that provide shade. In the end, they will design their own shelter to protect animals from the sun that creates and provides shade!



Learning Objective

Students will be able to make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface and use tools and materials provided to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.


Students will imagine they are playing outside on a hot sunny day in the park (picture given with a park/outdoor area and a tree with a treehouse). Where would you go to cool off for a couple of minutes? Explain that the treehouse would be perfect to cool down because they can get out of the heat from the sunlight.


Begin by explaining what a shelter is and show some examples. Discuss the effects of the sun and how we can protect ourselves from excessive heat. Have students circle the items that can provide shade and the shelters that can provide shade for animals like a bird’s nest and a cave. Next, students will create an animal using items like pipe cleaners, beads, and googly eyes. Alternatively, you may choose to skip this step and have pre-made animal objects or toys for students to use.

After this, show students the materials they will use and have students work together to design their shelter to protect the animal from the sun. They can use markers and chart paper to draw their designs. Finally, students will use a variety of materials to build the shelter, then present them to the class. You can use a flashlight or go outside to test if the light reaches the animal. Have students reflect on the success of their designs.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true or false questions.


Students design their own dream hangout spots that can help protect them from the sunlight on very hot and sunny summer days. They will draw a picture of their dream hangout, then label the picture, and write 1 sentence describing their design. A printable worksheet is provided for this activity.


Students can use the following items to create their animals:
- Pipe cleaners
- Tape
- Glue
- Beads
- Googly eyes
- Scissors
- Paper
Feel free to provide other materials or have pre-made toys/items for students to use as animals.

To build their shelter, students will need:
- Pipe cleaners
- Old cardboard
- Paper plates
- Cups
- Paper
- Used paper towel or toilet paper rolls
- Used food product plastic
- Tape, scissors, glue
- Flashlight
- Any additional crafting materials you wish to provide students

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Gynzy is an online teaching platform for interactive whiteboards and displays in schools.

With a focus on elementary education, Gynzy’s Whiteboard, digital tools, and activities make it easy for teachers to save time building lessons, increase student engagement, and make classroom management more efficient.

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