Exploring Earth: Bear’s Shadow

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“Exploring Earth: Bear’s Shadow” is a hands-on activity designed primarily for young visitors and their families. Participants move a flashlight around an object to make and experiment with shadows. The activity can be connected to a storybook about a little bear exploring his own shadow, and also has connections to the geometry of a solar eclipse as the Moon and Sun cast a shadow onto Earth.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Type:


Materials List ()

  • Flashlight “sun”
  • Toy bear
  • Toy tree
  • Landscape mat with pond and fish
  • Challenge cards
  • Bear’s Shadow information sheet
  • Activity and facilitator guides
  • Optional: Moonbear’s Shadow storybook by Frank Asch
  • Optional: Moon’s Shadow information sheet (for 2017 solar eclipse connections)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth, Moon and Sun


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • National Informal STEM Education Network

Source Collection

  • NISE Network


Funding Source:

  • NASA, NNX16AC67A