SEPTEMBER – Week 7 – Sundial
Since the Autumnal Equinox lands in week 7 of the September classroom, it’s an ideal time to make a sundial. These projects also translate well to New Year’s Day, the Vernal Equinox and any change in season.
Telling time has long fascinated the human race. However, we’re not the only ones who rely on it. Internal clocks and changing seasons tell animals about the passing of time, too. Many depend on the sun, moon and temperature to tell them when it’s safe to hunt, mate, and migrate.
These sundial projects will offer students an opportunity to see the sun’s effect with their own eyes.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Select the sundial project that best fits your classroom. Large or small, these sundials get students outdoors and learning, hands-on.
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THIS WEEK’S PROJECTS
All the sundials require students to spend time outside. A little sunshine is helpful, too. The last couple of weeks around the National Day Calendar headquarters have been rainy and dreary. Unfortunately, the weather sidetracked the demonstration of our project. Thankfully there are plenty of how-tos on the internet to help you along.
The paper plate sundials are the easiest to accomplish. While teaching the same skills, they offer a portable tool for students to take home with them. Once they take the sundial home, challenge your students to place their sun clock in the correct position in sunny spot. How accurate is their sundial?
This sundial may be built as a team effort. It also doesn’t take many tools to accomplish the final product. Another benefit of this small sun clock is everyone can take a turn in monitoring the time.
The directions on this project point out all the additional benefits to the classroom. It may be slightly more elaborate, but in the end, it benefits the classroom as a whole. For students whole like deconstructing projects, this is a project for them!
Finally, a permanent classroom tool that benefits the entire student body. Students spend a lot of time in the classroom. Incorporating outdoor educational tools transports the classroom environment. Take the sundial concept large scale. This can be achieved with outdoor paints, embedded stepping stones, or colorful plantings. Whether the school chooses to paint the sundial, embed colored, recycled rubber or create a stone garden feature, a permanent sundial offers many opportunities for hands-on learning.