Keeping it Cool With Solar: Hot Spot/Cool Spot

Average Rating:
Rate This Activity:
Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will consider and pose questions about what type of energy source can cause an ice cube to melt.

  2. Students will explore how the sun affects the Earth’s surface on the playground.

  3. Students will analyze data to understand how the sun affects the earth’s surface on the


  4. Students will link the idea of sun/shade to hot/cool.

Lesson Number:
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
30 min

This is the first lesson where K-2 students will investigate the effect of sunlight on the earth’s surface (K- PS3-1). The students will observe a video of an ice cube melting as the anchoring phenomenon for the unit. In this first lesson, students will explore the playground areas to observe hot and cool areas, and how they correlate to sun and shade.

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
Infrared Temperature Gun
Other Material(s) Used:
● Markers - red for hot, blue for cool ● Blank/recycled paper for drawing ● Drawing materials