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Photo by Pete Linforth via Pixabay


Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point K-12 Energy Education Program


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th


Science, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 50 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



What the Sun Does for Me

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  • This activity is a simple way to teach students about the Sun's importance to plants, animals, and people.
  • The worksheet includes five spaces for students to draw or write and the teacher guide provides tips for tracking the Sun to tell time or making a Sun mobile.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson plan contains a worksheet that urges students to think about the sun's role in their lives.
  • This lesson plan lets students take an active role in the learning process.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to know the four cardinal points on a compass.
  • Teachers should be on the lookout for sunny days in their city's forecast for the sundial activity.
  • You may have more advanced students take notes in the location of your choice.
  • More information about this lesson can be found in this guide.


  • The lesson could be altered for students who aren't literate yet by using the suggestion to have students draw what the Sun does instead of writing it.
  • If students have no prior knowledge of the Sun's role in plant growth, the teacher can go over key aspects of photosynthesis before moving on to other parts of the lesson.
  • If students are struggling with the "What the Sun Does for Me" activity, the teacher could ask probing questions to help students understand how the sun impacts their lives.
  • This lesson could support a classroom discussion on how the Sun may harm people if they don't wear protective clothing or sunscreen.
Scientist Notes
There is no specific science to review in this resource, but it is a good activity to get students thinking about the Sun and energy. It is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS3: Energy
      • K-PS3-1 Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr1.1.3a Elaborate on an imaginative idea.
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