Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students consider the impact of night-time on themselves and other animals. They use their observations of the day sky to answer questions about the night sky. Students justify their thoughts about familiar objects and how they relate to night-time or daytime.


Inform students that this science lesson is about what happens as the day changes to night. Ask them how night-time affects them. Invite them to think about the impact of the night on animals they know about, for example, their pets or insects around the home.


  1. Display the PowerPoint presentation Squawks in the night
  2. Ask the students the following questions.
    • What effect does the night-time have on different animals?
    • Have you seen how the moon looks different on different nights?
    • Is the moon actually changing shape?
    • What other features have you observed in the night sky?
  3. Inform students they are going outside to observe the day sky. Remind them not to look directly at the Sun. Ask students the following questions to scaffold the learning.
    • How do we know it is daytime?
    • What features can we see in our day sky?
    • Do these features change? If so, how?
    • Can we see the moon during the day?
    • Does the moon shine like the sun?
    • What features would we see if it there was a thunderstorm?
    • Has anyone told you a story to explain why we have thunder?
    • What have you noticed as the day is turning into night. What do we call this time?
    • What about when night becomes day?
  4. Return to class. View the learning object Day sky, night sky to reinforce what has been observed outside.
  5. Display the ‘special box’ (see Materials and equipment list for details). Explain to the students that there are some items in the box. As each item is revealed the students can suggest whether it is used more in the day or night or if it can be used during both.
  6. Display two more items – first an umbrella and then a warm scarf or gloves. For each item, ask the students what sort of sky they may expect to see if this item was needed and if the item is linked to night or day skies or particular seasons. Also, ask if there are any other possibilities to explain the need for this item. Prompt for alternatives, for example, an umbrella can be used when it is very hot too.


Divide students into pairs. Provide each pair with a sequence of picture cards that have been jumbled. Ask the students to discuss the images on the cards and what they represent and then to arrange the cards in order. Allow enough time for the students to complete this task before instructing them to pass their cards to another pair of students. Repeat as many times as desired.

Lesson Resources


Student activities

Digital resources

Squawks in the night, PowerPoint presentation (PPT, Note: 5.7 MB) 

L20 Day sky, night sky, NDLRN 


Sequence of picture cards (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Useful links

Weather in my world, PrimaryConnections. Australian Academy of Science. Unit of work. (Link updated to Scootle version, December, 2016.)

How do you know when rain is coming? ABC Splash, Video clip (1:53 min) 

Wet weather in cold and warm climates, ABC Splash, Video clip (0:50 min)