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Preschool Lesson Plan: Day and Night

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi • updated: 3/2/2012

Most preschoolers are curious about their environment, and this day and night preschool lesson plan will help them learn a bit more about their world. Teach your class that we have day when the sun shines on earth and night when that part of earth is turned away from the sun.

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    Night and Day

    By the time children are in preschool, they are aware of the sun and the moon and have become accustomed to having a daily schedule based on day and night activities. This lesson plan is intended to help them learn about how days and nights work and why.

    Materials

    • Posters of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun
    • A small, battery-operated flashlight
    • Drawing paper
    • Colors
    • Animal photographs
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    The Lesson

    Ask the children if they know what a day and a night is.

    • A day is when there is light everywhere and the sun shines - or, even if the sun doesn't shine, you can see everything around you.
    • A night is when the sun does not shine and everything is dark - you can see the moon in its different phases or there may be no moon at all.
    • We don't need to turn on electric lights during the day, but it is necessary to have the lights on at night.

    Tell the children that the phenomenon of night and day happens because the earth moves around the sun. You can demonstrate this by designating one child as the sun and giving him or her a flashlight to hold. The sun-child should point the flashlight constantly at another preschooler who will be the earth. The earth-child should, while turning round and round around himself or herself, move around the sun-child too.

    • The flashlight shines on the earth-child when he or she is facing the sun-child and that means it is day.
    • When the earth-child is facing away from the sun-child, the flashlight does not shine on his or her front and it is night.

    Tell the preschoolers that this is how the sun affects the earth. We have daylight on the side of earth on which the sun is shining and night on the other part where the sun is not then shining. In simpler words, when the moon goes to sleep here, the sun wakes up there, and when the moon wakes up here, the sun goes to sleep there.

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    More Activities

    Ask the preschoolers about the things they do when it is day and the things they do when it is night.

    Talk about how having a day and night system helps us to live better on earth. For example, we work and play during the day and we sleep and rest at night. Plants need daylight to grow in and owls need nighttime to fly in.

    Ask the preschoolers to imagine what would happen if there was no day or if there was no night. What would the world be like then?

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    Ask the preschoolers to draw and color some of the activities they do during the day and some of the activities they do during the night.

    Show the preschoolers photographs of -

    • Animals that thrive during the day - Horses, Cattle, Antelope, Deer, Buffalo, Elephants, Sparrows, Crows.
    • Animals that thrive during the night - Toads, Bats, Owls, Flying Squirrels, Badger, Bandicoot,Raccoon, Hedgehog, Lion, Tiger, Jaguar.