Sunlight and Earth


Sunlight and Earth introduces students to how the sun benefits the planet in various ways. Students will discover why light is essential for life on Earth and how the sun does more than just provide light and heat.

There are a few suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you might want to incorporate into the lesson if you have time or want to expand it. One idea is to take students outside for the lesson. Another is to discuss solar energy and how it helps save the environment and some of the earth’s resources.

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What our Sunlight and Earth lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Sunlight and Earth teaches students about many of the ways that the sun benefits our planet. Students will learn that, in addition to providing light and heat, the sun provides energy, vitamin D, and precipitation. They will also discover a little about the process of photosynthesis. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. This lesson requires only colored pencils in addition to the worksheets.

Options for Lesson

The “Options for Lesson” section provides several suggestions for additional activities or alternative ways to go about parts of the lesson. Regarding the activity, one suggestion is to let students work in pairs but still use their own worksheet page. Another suggestion is to present the lesson outside rather than in the classroom. You could also expand on the process of photosynthesis when you start discussing it during the lesson. Another option is to elaborate on the benefits of solar energy and how it helps the environment. One more idea is to let students draw their own rendition of the five reasons that the sun is so important, as an additional activity.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page provides a little extra information on what you can expect from the lesson. It suggests you teach the lesson outside on a sunny day so that students can benefit from a truly hands-on experience. You could also teach this lesson at the same time as or before a lesson photosynthesis. Use the lines to write out your thoughts as you prepare.


Energy, Heat, and Precipitation

The Sunlight and Earth lesson plan contains two pages of content. The first page begins with a statement about the sun. Everyone knows that the bright yellow circle in the sky is the sun. At any given time, it shines its light somewhere in the world. Students may not realize that the sun does more than just provide light throughout the world. In fact, there are several reasons why the sun is so important for the earth. In fact, it is vital to the survival of all living things.

Ultimately, the sun is the source of all food. This is because of the process of photosynthesis. Plants use sunlight in that process to make their own food using the sun’s energy. Without this source of energy, plants would not be able to make food. If plants cannot make food, they will die, so the animals that eat plants for their survival would likewise die. All the other animals would have nothing to eat, including people. Equally important is the fact that plants release oxygen into the atmosphere so that we can breathe. In the end, life on Earth would cease to exist without the energy from the sun.

The sun’s light is not the only thing keeping our planet alive. Heat is equally important to the survival of life, and we would not exist without it. Other planets receive heat from the sun, but there is too much or too little to support living things. The sun warms the earth’s surface, which in turn transmits heat to the air above it. Due to the earth’s movements, the heat does not distribute evenly. Despite this, however, life can exist in nearly every part of the world.

As surprising as it may sound, the earth would receive no precipitation without the sun. This is because the sun evaporates water from oceans, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water on the earth’s surface. The water turns into moist air in the atmosphere, and temperature affects that moist air. The moisture returns to the earth in the form of rain, snow, and other precipitation. Without the sun, the whole earth would become like a desert and suffer from droughts.

Vitamin D, Light, and Energy

The lesson explains that another great reason to appreciate the sun is its gift of vitamin D. The human body can make its own vitamin D using sunlight that the skin absorbs. This vitamin is extremely important for strong and healthy bones. In addition, it helps other parts of the body work well and fight infections.

Going back to light, why is it so important to have light from the sun? Light is often the benefit people most enjoy when it comes to the sun. After all, it allows us to see! With sunlight, we can build homes, plant gardens, play games, read at a beach, and enjoy so many more things about life. People often feel happier because of the sun’s light as well. Students will learn that light from the sun takes about eight minutes to reach the earth.

One more incredible benefit that the sun bestows upon the earth is solar energy. Solar energy turns energy from the sun into electricity to power homes and businesses. This type of energy is better for the environment and costs less than others overall to maintain. The earth benefits from many advantages because of the sun and its light. Exposure to the sun without proper protection, however, can be dangerous and cause various issues.


The Sunlight and Earth lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one of these handouts will help students demonstrate their knowledge and will reinforce what they learned throughout the lesson. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to give students each worksheet.


The activity requires students to color the rays of a sun certain colors. Students must match the terms in the rays to the type of benefit it relates to. The worksheet lists the types and the color associated with it. For instance, the ray with the word “oceans” on it should be blue because it relates to how we receive rain or snow.


For the practice worksheet, students will review 20 statements or descriptions. They must decide whether the statements relate to energy, heat, light, rain and snow, solar energy, or vitamin D.


There are two parts for the homework assignment. For the first section, students will draw a line to connect pictures with the reason that the sun is important to the earth. The second part requires them to answer five questions about what they learned throughout the lesson.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last few pages of the lesson plan document are answer keys for the three worksheets. For the activity, the page highlights the rays in the different colors that they correspond to. The correct answers for the practice and homework worksheets are in red to make it easy to compare them with students’ work. The only answers that might have any variation are the open-ended questions of the second part of the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.B LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.4 LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.2 LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.5 LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4 LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7 LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.2 LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3 LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4 LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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I needed inspiration for a project, I found it.

Ruxandra R.

Sunkight and Earth

Very informative material, easy download.


kids loved it

I homeschool my 9 and 11 year old. this month we have been learning about the sun. they loved this packet from clarendon learning and had a lot of fun doing the activities