Explore the sun in the garden, make botanical art prints and learn about alternate energy sources.

Lesson: Fun in the Sun

Level: 4th Grade

Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden


  • SC.4.E.6.3: Earth Structures
  • SC.4.E.6.6: Earth Structures
  • SC.4.L.17.3: Interdependence
  • SC.4.L.17.4: Interdependence
  • SC.4.N.1.1: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.N.1.4: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.N.1.6: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.P.10.1: Forms of Energy
  • SC.4.N.1.7: The Practice of Science


Learning Goals:

  • Students will be able define the terms solar, UV reactive, and adaptations.
  • Students will be able to explain alternate energy sources

Resources for guided learning: Living Lab Solar Lab Book


  • Lab Books
  • Writing Utensils
  • iPads
  • mini solar panels
  • wheels
  • craft supplies
  • rubber bands
  • bottles
  • UV reactive Paper
  • Botanical Samples

Activity 1: Students are given lab books and asked to “warm up their brain” with a Word Splash activity on the field trip topic.

Activity 2: Students form small groups and participate in a scavenger hunt around the garden searching for examples of how plants adapt to get the right amount of sun. Students take photos with iPads and record their observations in lab books.

Activity 3: Students regroup and discuss their findings.

Activity 4: Teachers lead discussion on alternate energy. Students use combination of solar panels, craft supplies, and recycled products to create and test vehicles powered by alternate energy sources.

Activity 5: Students create botanical sun art prints with UV reactive paper and botanical samples.


You can download and print the lesson plan. Simply click on the link.

[tnc-pdf-viewer-link file=”https://www.keywest.garden/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/LL-Solar-lesson-plan.pdf” target=”_parent” download=”true” print=”true” fullscreen=”true” share=”true” zoom=”true” open=”true” pagenav=”true” logo=”true” find=”true” current_view=”true” rotate=”true” handtool=”true” doc_prop=”true” toggle_menu=”true” language=”en-US” class=”” text=”Download the lesson plan” page=”” default_zoom=”auto” pagemode=””]