Futher Exploration of Day and Night

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Students will be able to describe differences between day and night by completing a sort.

Big Idea

Defining what happens during the day and the night can be a difficult concept for kindergarten students. This lesson helps them expand their understanding.


5 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Globe with sticker on it marking school location
  • Flashlight

To begin the lesson, we review what we discussed during our previous lesson.  During the lesson Exploring Night and Day, the students engaged in an inquiry lesson to explore why we experience day and night.  We take this time to review what happened during the previous lesson. I take the globe and place it on a table in front of the class and shine the flashlight on it, while rotating it counter clockwise to model how day and light occurs.  I ask the students the following questions:

  1. What does the flashlight represent?
  2. What is does this demonstration show?
  3. When we are toward the sun, when is it?
  4. When we are away from the sun, when is it?

Today, we are going to learn more about daytime and nighttime and find out what happens during each.  Let's move over to the SmartBoard to learn some more.



Direct Instruction

20 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, Day and Night notebook file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a pdf of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson:  Slides of Day and Night SmartBoard

I gather my students in front of the SMART Board.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the Smartboard.

I open the first slide (SMART Board Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can describe the difference between daytime and nighttime and identify things associated with each.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend whether a sky is a daytime or nighttime sky.

We then move on to slide 2.

Slide 2:  Each day is divided into two parts:  daytime and nighttime.

Slide 3:  The Earth's rotation causes day and night.  As the Earth turns, part of it faces the sun. That is daytime.  The part that is not facing the sun is having nighttime.  

Slide 4: Click on the link to watch a video of the sun's rotation.  The video is lengthy.  Watch just a short portion of it. 

Slide 5:  During the day, we have light because our part of Earth is facing toward the sun. 

Slide 6:  Daytime begins at sunrise.  We talk about how we can see the sun as our side of the Earth turn toward it.

Slide 7:  I ask the students what happens or things they can see during the daytime.  I record their responses on the web. 

Slide 8:  During the daytime...
1.  We see the sun.
2.  We have light.
3.  We can see shadows.
4.  We can get a sunburn.
5.  It is usually warmer than nighttime.
6.  Certain animals are active.
7.  We can see clouds, rain, rainbows and lightning. 
Did you know that you can often see the moon during the day?  (We discuss how the moon can be found in the sky during the daytime.)

Slide 9:  During the night, it is dark because our side of the Earth is facing away from the sun.

Slide 10:  Nighttime begins at sunset.  We discuss how our part of the Earth is moving away from the sun during sunset. 

Slide 11:  I ask the students what happens or things that they can see during nighttime.  I record their responses on the web.

Slide 12:  During the nighttime...
1.  We usually see the moon.
2.  It is dark.
3.  We can see stars.
4.  It is usually cooler than daytime.
5.  Certain animals are active.
6.  Even though it is dark, you can see clouds, rain and lightning in the sky.

Slide 13:  Certain animals come out primarily at night.  Animals that come out at nighttime are called nocturnal.

Slide 9:  It is now time for Turn and Talk.  I use Turn and Talk to build and strengthen the vocabulary and expressive language of all my kindergarten students, especially my English Language Learner.  Each student has an assigned partner.  I ask them to raise hands with their partner so I know everyone is partnered up.  After they raise their hands, I pose the question to them:  Is this a daytime or nighttime sky?  How do you know?  I give the students time to discuss the question.  After everyone is done talking, I call on students to share.  I want them to cite the evidence that they observed in the picture so they get practice supporting their argument. 

When we are done, we move back to our seats for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

15 minutes

Materials Needed:

I distribute copies of the PDF to the students and have them write their names at the top.  I then say to the students, We have discussed characteristics of daytime and nighttime.  Now it is time for you to show me if you can identify things that might be seen in the day or night sky.  On this page is a Venn diagram.  If you remember, we use Venn diagrams to help us organize information.  Venn diagrams are really helpful when we have to organize things that might belong to more than one group.  On the bottom of the worksheet are things that you might find in the day or night sky, or maybe in both.  You will cut the items out.  If they belong in the day sky, they go here.  If they are found in the night sky, they go in the center.  If they are found in both skies, they go in the middle. When you are done, raise your hand and I will check your work before you glue them down. 

I tell the student what each item is.  Some of the items are unfamiliar to some of the students.  As the students are working, I circulate around the classroom to check on their progress and provide assistance as needed.  See Day and Night Sky Sort.  When the students are done with their activity sheet (see sample), I check their work before they put it in their mailbox. 


5 minutes

Our science lesson is at the end of the day, so to provide a review for the students and to facilitate lining up at the end of the day, I give each student an item that is associated with either daytime, nighttime or both.  When they correctly identify what it is associated with, they can line up.

List of items I asked the students:

  • moon
  • rain
  • bats
  • darkness
  • sunburn
  • clouds
  • rain
  • light
  • lightning
  • sun
  • fox
  • rainbow
  • butterflies
  • stars
  • moths
  • sleeping
  • heat
  • constellation
  • owls