Sundials and shadows: free creative teaching resource

Have you ever been a GNOMON?

I have. In fact every time the sun is shining and I am out with my dog I can’t resist it. In the park we visit there is a semi-circle of standing stones with a slab in the middle. The slab is marked with the months of the year. When the sun shines you stand on the correct month, act like a gnomon and see where your shadow falls on the standing stones. The stones are the hours, you have to allow for whether it is BST or GMT or not but it is fairly accurate.

This worksheet suggests the children make their own small sundial and mark the times of day on it as the sun progresses around the classroom. Why not take it outside and make it bigger? So long as the position is marked to stand on you don’t have to be there all the time so classes can continue with only minor disruption.

This idea is drawn from Physical Processes, part of our Project Science series. The activities in Physical Processes will help pupils to learn about electricity, forces, motion, light, sound, and the Earth and beyond. It is one of a series of three books.


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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 2, Teaching Ideas

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