Teaching Earth Science with Children's Literature: Shadows


What always follows you on a bright sunny day?  Shadows by Carolyn B. Otto, uses real-life photos to show and explain how shadows are formed.  All children like to look at their own shadows which makes them curious.  The book walks the student through how to make a shadow with a flash light and how to block the light to produce a shadow on the wall.  The author explains how shadows can change because of the time of day or because the object moves.  She shows how to make shadows change in the real life photos.  At the end of the book, shadows are made by using your hands to create a bird and dog.  This is a good opportunity for the student to try making hand shadows. Otto also gives a suggested activity for parents to do with their child.  The real life photos in the book make learning about shadows more concrete.

Cirriculm Connections 

Shadows can be used as an introduction to the study of shadows which occur when sunlight is blocked by an object or producing shadows by blocking artificial light.  In Virginia, this topic correlates with SOL K.7, Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems.

Additional Resources

Time for Kids is a fun website for students to play interactive games to reinforce the concept of shadows and to watch a short slideshow on shadows.  Here is the link for the website. The time for kids one is not working correctly. http://treasures.macmillanmh.com/national/students/grade1/book3/unit3/time-for-kids-show-shadows-long-shadows click on Activity 1, 2, & slideshow.

Observing and Drawing Shadows is a lesson on how to have partners work with each other to draw and note shadow changes.

I Have A Shadow is an adorable shadow song which explains how shadows are made through music.

Book: Shadows
Author: Carolyn Otto
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 31 pages
Grade Range: K-2
ISBN: 978-0439295833

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