Task 1: A Sundial


Topic: time

Level: Primary (1.–5. Graders)

Thematic Unit:

Subject: national history and geography

Recommended age of pupils: 6–11 years old or older

Time allocated: 4–5 lessons

List of equipment needed for pairs of pupils:

  • A Paper plate

  • A Stick

  • Letters or a felt-tip pen

Equipment for the teacher: https://www.sikovne-ruce.eu/napady/slunecni-hodiny/
List of practical (research) activities:
Description – a brief summary: The goal of the activity is to get acquainted with different types of clocks.

Description – Individual sections of the first lesson

Work contentTimeMaterial and equipment neededTeacher’s activityPupils’ activity

Introduction to topic - motivation

Excursion to see sundials in the vicinity of the school 2 lessons

Notebook for recording sundials’ time, a pencil

Describes the importance of sundials. Manages and assesses pupils’ activities.
In the form of a group work, they make drawings of sundials.

Pre-laboratory preparation
Dividing pupils into groups, motivation, formulation of the target, assessment, a worksheet. 30 minutes or based on the distance of sundials

Notebook for recording sundials’ time, a pencil

Divides pupils into groups, motivation, formulates the target, introduces the assessment to pupils, distributes the worksheets, supervises pupils when working, and manages the transfer.
Transfer to the place of sundials, complete the worksheet with tasks, cooperate within the group, and ask the teacher questions.

Practical (research) activity

Making a sundial.

45 Minutes

Notebook for recording sundials’ time, a pencil, a camera.

Pays attention to pupils.

They make the sundials.

Evaluation of lessons
Summary, advantages and disadvantages of sundials, presentations.

45 Minuten

A projector, a computer.

Controlled discussion with pupils.

Characteristics of sundials in a season.

  1. Preparation of the visit to the places with sundials near school or surrounding villages. (45 minutes)

    Equipment: a notebook, a pencil

    The teacher plans a route of excursion around the sundials near the school. He/she will be acquainted with the basic parts, description, accessibility, characteristics, and creators of the clock. He/she selects a simple clock to be drawn by pupils. If there are no sundials near the school, the sundials database can be used (http://www.astrohk.cz/ slunecni_hodiny.html). Pupils will make a drawing of the sundial and write important information about it. E.g. address, dial range, geographic orientation, graphical form, curiosities.

  2. Pupils make a sundial using paper or prepared material. They complete the worksheet. (45 minutes)

    Equipment: A paper plate, a stick, letters or a felt-tip pen

    Pupils make the sundial in groups according to the instructions and complete the worksheet.

  3. Discussion about different types of sundials.
    The final lesson is accompanied by a slideshow of the images in the PowerPoint presentation. The presentation contains types of questions such as:
    a) When is it not possible to use sundials?
    b) Why do sundials show a different time than the radio-controlled clocks?
    c) Can we use a sundial at night? If yes, when?

  4. Presentation of the photographs showing the construction of the sundials. The presentation is accompanied by a discussion with pupils

Pic 82: Polos
(Source: https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polos)