Math: Measuring Shadows
These sites explain why shadows change their length depending on the time of day and the season. Find out how to determine the height of an object using a shadow stick and ratios. Includes an interactive activity that lets you change the location of the sun and see how that changes the shadow length. There are several links to sites for conducting experiments with shadows. There are links to eThemes Resources on shadows, eclipses, rotation and revolution, and Groundhog Day.
Type in the latitude and longitude of your location, plus your height. The results will show you the length of your shadow on different days and at different times. Students could compare this data to data gathered by doing an actual experiment.
PBS: Math in the Park or City
Scroll down for instructions on how to determine the height of an object by using the height of its shadow.
Measuring with Shadows
This interactive site allows you to adjust the position of the sun and view how this changes the size of the shadow. There is also an explanation about how to measure shadows. A link at the bottom leads to information about shadow theaters and an interactive activity.
MathForum: Measuring by Shadows
Read an explanation about how you can use ratios to figure out the length of the shadows of two different objects.
U.S. Naval Observatory
Choose a state and type in your city name to find out what time the sun and moon will rise and set. You can also type in your exact latitude and longitude at the bottom.
The Physics of Light: Shadows
This illustration shows that the closer an object is to a light source, the larger the shadow will be.
The Physics of Light: More Shadow Activities
This page includes a picture of objects and their shadows that can be used to prompt a discussion about the time of day and the direction of the sun.
Print out this one-page PDF sheet so students can record their shadow measurements.
Discovery School: Understanding Time
Here is a lesson plan for six graders to learn how to tell time by measuring shadows. NOTE: The site includes ads.
eThemes Resource: Shadows
Learn how the sun's position affects shadows during the day. Find out how to tell time using knowledge of shadows location. Discover how people in Ancient Egypt and Rome could tell the time by the suns shadow. Learn how to make sundials to tell time. There is a link to eThemes resource on measuring shadows. Includes lesson plans, in class projects and activities, photographs, and interactive and animated images.
eThemes Resource: Solar System: Eclipses
These sites have information about solar and lunar eclipses. Includes descriptions, Webcasts, images, and charts. There are also sky charts and descriptions of the earth, moon, and sun relationships.
eThemes Resource: Solar System: Rotation and Revolution
These sites demonstrate rotation, revolution, and the orbit of planets and moons in our solar system. Includes information about day/night cycles, rotational periods, constellations, moon phases, and telling time.
eThemes Resource: Holiday: Groundhog Day
Sites include information about the history of this holiday and why we celebrate it. Learn more about Punxsutawney Phil and groundhogs. Vote online for whether Phill will or won't see his shadow. There are many classroom activity ideas and online games, plus information about Canada's groundhog named Willie.
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