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Book 29: Solar Energy: Sun Power on Earth

Levels: 2-4
Contextual strands: Physical world icon. Physical world , Planet Earth and beyond icon. Planet Earth and beyond


The study of solar energy offers children a useful introduction to concepts about one of our world's few renewable energy sources. This book looks at what solar energy is, how it is used, and the technologies involved in "harnessing" and transforming energy from the Sun. At levels 5 to 6, another area of study linked to concepts of solar energy is the global warming of planet Earth and the depletion of the ozone layer. Energy units are often studied on a school-wide basis. This topic offers a choice of contexts for many activities from Levels 2 to 4. You can choose the context appropriate to your children; if you are teaching younger children, you may opt to bypass more complex activities. For example, the concept "The amounts of heat energy and light energy that reach Earth's surface vary according to the time of day, the weather, the time of year, and the place" can be investigated through activities related to the times of day and night for younger children, and extended to activities involving annual times (seasons) for more advanced children.

Concept overview

Use the concept overview, which is also on the inside front cover of the book, as a reference for the concepts that relate to Solar Energy: Sun Power on Earth.

PDF icon. Read the concept overview (PDF 59 KB)

Links with other titles in the series

Because of the central importance of the Sun to life on Earth, this book links with many other books in the series, particularly:

  • Book 9: Shadows (L1–2, Material World, Physical World, Planet Earth and Beyond)
    for activities involving direct and shaded light
  • Book 13: Aluminium (L3–4, Material World, Planet Earth and Beyond)
    for activities on the reflection of light and heat

Assessment resources

Search the science section of the Assessment Resource Banks (ARB) website to find resources that assess the 'big idea' learning outcomes referred to in the concept overview for this title.