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Shadow Tracking from the Sun

The sun changing places in the sky affects the way that shadows are seen on the Earth's surface.

Waverly, Iowa

Driving Question

  • How does the sun affect the way we see things? 

Probing Questions

  • Why do shadows appear different sizes throughout the day? 
  • Is the shape of the shadow the same or different than the object that is making it?
  • How can we make a shadow?
  • Are there ways that we can track a shadow throughout the day? 

Classroom Suggestions


  • Measure where the sun is from a consistent spot at different times of the day
  • Use chalk to trace and measure shadow movement
  • Make sun catchers
  • Estimate a person's height with shadows


  • Discuss the size of shadows throughout the day 
  • Discuss the impact of the sun on our daily lives

Relevant Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment

Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface

Credit Info

Phenomena submitted by Kearstin Hansel and Alivia Brandhorst

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