This Kindergarten lesson is written and illustrated by Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier. Kindergarten students act as engineers as they design a structure to provide shade all day. A full and half size Engineering Journal are provided for recording. The lesson begins with a whole class activity in which students observe and classify objects according to how well they block light. In the individual performance assessment, students design, build, and test their structure to keep out the light and warmth of the sun. Teacher background, rubrics for scoring, journal pages, science notes, vocabulary cards, and detailed teaching tips are included.
Students use provided tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. The Next Generation Science Standard performance expectation assessed is Kindergarten Physical Science 3-2: Energy. Students use the science and engineering practice of planning and carrying out an investigation to demonstrate their understanding of the disciplinary core idea of conservation of energy and energy transfer as well as the crosscutting concept of cause and effect.
NGSS Grade K Physical Science Energy
K-PS3-2. Use tools and materials provided to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents that minimize the warming effect of the sun.]