Summer is a great time to observe the sun! (No — of course, not directly!)
Seeing the Invisible: A Lesson Giving Students an Opportunity to Discover Ultraviolet and Infrared Radiation Coming From the Sun is a free solar observation lesson from NASA.
Using an engage-explore-explain-elaborate-evaluate framework, this 24-page download includes three activities and two experiments exploring ultraviolet and infrared radiation. After the investigations, the student will have:
- Understood what sun products claim to protect consumers from.
- Studied the areas of the spectrum in which the sun emits light.
- Recorded a temperature reading from an invisible part of the Sun’s spectra and used the data to write a persuasive article regarding the invisible radiation coming from the sun.
- Detected ultraviolet radiation.
- Observed structural features of the sun at different wavelengths.
Granted, this lesson plan does require objects that we may not have handy such as UV beads, a prism, or optional red and green filters. However, these can be obtained from the recommended sources at a reasonable cost (see Additional Resources below for other options).
A student book with data collection sheets is also available.
This solar observation lesson makes a great transition from summer to homeschool!
Change color when exposed to sunlight.
Equilateral Glass Prism
Currently best choice for the cost.
Red and Green Filter
These are a bit different than the gel filters recommended. However, for those interested in doing the optional activity, it is a great option for the cost. (Just hold them up to your eyes to look at the M&Ms.)
Summer Fun Activity: Sun Prints
Fun go-along activity.
Solar Cycles: A Unit Study
For more sun investigations.