for Hat Day
students will discuss the reasons people wear hats and
conduct an experiment on shadows.
- Chart paper or a
- A strong flashlight (the
bigger the better) If the teacher is going to do
a demonstration, only one flashlight is needed.
If the class will break out into groups, there will
need to be one flashlight per group.
- An opaque object, such as
a block or a counting bear (If possible, a small
hat would be ideal to keep with the theme.) Once
again the number of objects needed depends on whether
this will be a demonstration or done in groups.
Worksheet (Has been formatted to be cut in half.)
- Facilitate a discussion on
why people wear hats. Emphasize the three
physical reasons of
1) protection from injury
2) to keep warm
3) for sun protection.
List these on chart paper or the blackboard.
- Go in to greater
discussion on how the brim of a hat makes a shadow on
the face, protecting it from the sun.
- Conduct an experiment on
the length of shadows in relation to a light
source. For this experiment the room will need to be
darkened as much as possible.
- Have a discussion on how a
shadow is made. An object must block the light
source, thus creating a shadow. Relate this to
the brim of a hat blocking the sun's rays from hitting
- Gather the students
around. Discuss how, due to the earth's
rotation, the sun appears to move across the sky
during the day. We begin with a sunrise low in
the sky, at noon the sun is high over head, and then
the day ends with the sun low in the sky once
- While holding the chosen
opaque object low and fairly close to the ground, move the
flashlight in an arch shape over the object.
Start out low and close to the ground, then move it up
so it's directly over the object, and complete the
arch down the other side.
- Ask the students what
happens to the shadow as the light source is in a
different position. When is the shadow it's
longest? When is it it's shortest? Relate
these answers to the brim of a hat. Have a
student put a brimmed hat on and move the light source
over his/her head from front to back. Does the brim work when the
light source is low and pointed toward the face of the
student? When does the brim make the biggest
shadow on the student's face?
- Allow older students to
break out into groups, with the needed materials, and
experiment with the light and shadow on their own.
- Have the students complete
the short Shadow
Worksheet as a wrap-up.
- Conduct a lesson on
Bicycle Helmet Safety. Use the following link
for games, activities, and lesson plan ideas http://www.bikehelmet.org/.
- Have a lesson on sun
safety. Use one of the following links for
And Beach Safety Tips, or Sun
And Safety For Kids.