How shadows change during the course of the day
How shadows change during the course of the day

How shadows change during the course of the day

I can identify and explain how shadows change throughout the day.

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In this lesson, students participate in an experiment. They will review shadows and how they are created. Students will also identify objects that create shadows and how the sun is our main light source that creates shadows. They will see how the sun causes shadows to change throughout the day and practice placing the sun in the correct spot based on the location of a shadow. In the end, students will trace their own shadows throughout the day to see how it changes.



Learning Objective

Students will be able to conduct investigations to observe and determine how shadows change throughout the day depending on the position of the Earth.


For this experiment, you will need a flashlight and a cup. Place the cup in the center of a table. Have your students take turns using the flashlight to get the shadow of the cup to move without moving the cup. Review what shadows are and how they are created. Students practice determining if an object will create a shadow or not.


Explain how the Earth moves around the sun. Then students will watch a video with a more in-depth explanation about rotation and revolution. Show students how shadows change throughout the day by observing the images on the board showing the different positions of the sun in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening. Check understanding by having students decide on the location of the sun based on the shadows they see in the pictures.


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


Students will create a shadow drawing. For this activity, you will need chalk. If possible, take students outside and have them work with a partner to trace their body’s shadow at three different times on the ground. You can choose to go around 8:00 am 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. What do they notice about their shadows?

Instruction materials

You will need the following items for the opening experiment:
- Flashlight
- Cup

You will need the following items for the closing activity:
- Chalk

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