The Sun Is Hot

Scripture: Genesis 21-23

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Abraham, God’s Promises and Isaac.
  • Students will learn Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away and the sun made them very hot.
  • Students will learn/review the concept of the sun creating heat energy and objects heating by the sun being determined by the amount they absorb or reflect the sun’s rays.
  • Students will participate in an activity to discover how the sun can heat various objects.

Guiding Question: Can the rays of the sun make an object get hot? How does the ability of the object to reflect or absorb the sun’s rays change the final temperature of the sun heated object?

Materials: various objects, including solids and liquids, some should be dark in color and others light. thermometers, sunny day

Procedure: Review the story of Abraham focusing especially on the story of Hagar and Ishmael being cast out. Discuss with the students how Ishmael and Hagar were suffering partially because of the heat created by the sun. Teach/review with the students the concept that the sun’s rays create heat energy. This energy is absorbed by some things and reflected by others. Ask them if they think whether an object reflects or absorbs the sun’s rays will change the final temperature an object will have on a sunny day. Have them suggest various objects to place in the sun and predict how hot they will get after various time intervals. (Try to have a mixture of solids, liquids, light and dark objects.) Take the initial temperature of objects (Note: This may be more accurately obtained using a thermometer placed on foreheads or designed to measure by just touching the object.) Have students record the initial temperatures of the various items. Have students retake the temperatures of objects every five minutes over the period of time you have available. Do they notice any pattern in the results? What could they change that would alter the results?

Additional Questions:

  • What are useful ways to take advantage of the heat energy from the sun?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research ways the heat energy from the sun can be used to accomplish useful things. Encourage them to share their findings with others.