Daytime Sky Fieldtrip


Students will investigate the Sun and Moon directly and indirectly through shadows and telescopes, build a sundial to tell time, craft a Moon model to experience the scale of Earth-Moon distance and the origin of moon phases, and practice recording observations in a booklet.

Objectives [+ relevant WI standards for science]

1. Study the Sun

a.  Observe that shadows cast by the Sun point opposite the Sun’s current position and that shadow motion can be used to infer the Sun’s motion [SCI.ESS1.A.1, SCI.ESS1.B.5, SCI.SEP3.A.K-2, SCI.SEP3.A.3-5]                          b.  Make Horizontal Sundial from cardstock and use the shadow caster (gnomon) of the sundial to tell local time [SCI.ESS1.A.1, SCI.ESS1.B.5, SCI.SEP6.K-2, SCI.SEP6.B.3-5]                                                                                                 c.  Observe the Sun through two telescopes using different filters: look for the apparent texture of the Sun and any spots [SCI.ESS1.A.1, SCI.ESS1.B.5, SCI.SEP3.A.K-2, SCI.SEP3.A.3-5]

2. Study the Moon

a.  Observe that the Moon can be visible even during the day and that it has a lit shape on the side facing the Sun  [SCI.ESS1.A.1, SCI.ESS1.B.5, SCI.SEP3.A.K-2, SCI.SEP3.A.3-5]                                                                                            b.  Make an air-dry clay model of the Moon scaled to a foot-size (standard desktop glove) Earth and experience the scaled Earth-Moon distance [SCI.ESS1.A.1 & SCI.ESS1.B.5]                                                                            c.  Use a source light to observe the phases of the Moon caused by relative Earth-Sun-Moon arrangement [SCI.ESS1.A.1, SCI.ESS1.B.5, SCI.SEP6.A.K-2, SCI.SEP6.A.3-5]                                                                                                     d.  Observe the Moon through a telescope and learn the names of some of the prominent features on the Moon (maria & craters) [SCI.ESS1.A.1]

3. Record observations

a.  Make a sketchbook from letter-size paper to record Sun and Moon observations [SCI.SEP8.A.K-2, SCI. SEP8.A.3-5]

Hawthorn Hollow Schoolyard Observatory:

Wisconsin Standards for Science:

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