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Sunspots Activities & Games

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Are you teaching your students about the Sun and sunspots? Check out this lesson filled with helpful activities and games that enhance your students' learning while keeping them engaged!

Sunspots

Sunspots are an interesting phenomena that occur on the Sun's surface. They are dark, cool spots that are created by interactions between the Sun's magnetic fields. Although scientists don't even understand exactly how they work, studying the sunspots and other Sun activity helps predict the effects on our Earth and space equipment.

The following activities and game will help your students learn more about sunspots. Students should already know or be studying facts about the Sun.

Activities

What are Sunspots?

Students get to share information about the Sun with this activity.

Materials

  • Computers/laptops for each student
    • PowerPoint or GoogleSlides
    • Microsoft Word
  • Resources on the Sun and sunspots
  • Notebook
  • Index cards
  • Pencils

Procedure

  • Students will work in groups of 2-3.
  • Students will conduct research on sunspots.
  • Look for at least the following information:
    • What are sunspots?
    • How are they formed?
    • What else can happen where a sunspot is located?
    • Is Earth affected by them?
    • Other interesting facts.
  • Explain to students that they will be provided time to research their information and compile it into a typed report as well as a presentation.
  • Each group will present their information to the class and turn in their typed report.
    • The presentations must use technology or have some type of visual.
    • Students may use index cards during their presentation.
  • Allow time for students to complete this activity.
  • When students are finished, set up a schedule so that one or two groups share their presentation per day.

Postcard

Creativity and facts about the Sun are incorporated into this activity.

Materials

  • Blank index cards (preferably 4x6 in.)
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Resources on sunspots
  • Sample postcards

Procedure

  • Students will work individually.
  • Ask students if they've ever seen or received postcards before. Discuss and show examples.
  • Explain that students will get to create their own postcards for sunspots! They will act as if they are able to take a trip to the Sun and describe what it's like.
  • Postcard requirements:
    • Students must draw or print out a picture of the Sun with its sunspots for the front of the postcard.
    • Students must write a detailed description of the Sun and sunspots.
    • Students are free to include any other unique information or styles in their postcard.
  • Allow time for students to create their postcards.
  • Students will share their finished postcards with their classmates.

Games

Don't Explode!

Students will compete against one another to see who knows more about sunspots.

Materials for each set of partners

  • One apple with the top part of the core cut out
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Pie dish or other dish with high sides
  • 1 tsp measuring spoon
  • 20 question cards about sunspots and the Sun

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