Tree Shadows

  • Time Length
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    < 1 hour

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
    Shape Created with Sketch.


Question and Wonder:

  • Based on how big or small the plant is that you plant in the ground, what kind of shadow do you think it will create?
  • How will the shadow change as it grows?
  • What other ways will the shadow change?
  • What things effect shadows?
  • How do you imagine your plant will grow? Tall, wide, or maybe not at all? Why do you think that?

Get your tools, pick a spot and get planting. Examine your plant’s shadow. Make predictions of how large its shadow will be after one month, two months…a year. Place stakes in the ground where you think the shadow will be after the periods of time you choose.

Imagine and Design:

  • Where will you plant?
  • Why did you pick that spot?
  • What did your newly planted plant or tree’s shadow look like?
  • If you checked in an hour, will the shadow look the same? Why?
  • How will you determine where to put your pegs?
  • What things will you need to think about to make good guesses?

Test and Discuss:

  • How did the shadow change? Was it as big as you predicted?
  • What shapes do you see in the shadow? Could you create a picture from the shadow your plant creates?
  • How does the shape and size of your plant’s shadow change over the course of a day?
  • How long does the shadow fall across the pegs you have placed? Why does that change?

Did you Know?

Did you know that Louisville has an entire initiative around our tree canopy that involves how much shade the trees provide to our city? Find out how planting a tree in your yard or neighborhood can be a part of the partnership.

What trees do you find in your community and around the world? Why do you think trees are different depending on what part of the world they are found in?

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