Discover the Sun: Demme Learning Day

Make a sundial with this free printable and instructions.

Summer Camp is for parents and kids to work together, exploring the world around you with activities that will take you outside, inside, and as far as your imagination will go! Learn more by reading the Welcome to KinderTown Summer Camp! blog post.


Activity: Make a Sundial!


Math-U-See® is a complete K-12 math curriculum produced by Demme Learning. This unique program develops by level, rather than by grade, presenting mathematical concepts incrementally. Students use manipulatives at most levels to establish an understanding of the concepts, and then move on to solving problems until they have demonstrated mastery.


For this activity, your preschool student will use her skills in telling time (taught in the Primer and Alpha levels), and your older student will investigate Roman numerals (Delta) and types of angles (Zeta).


As you create your sundial, you can refer to the accompanying activity page to review the underlying concepts.



  • Printout of sundial template
  • Paper plate or round piece of cardboard
  • Glue
  • Sharp pencil
  • Ruler
  • Drinking straw
  • Duct tape
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers (optional)



  • Print out the sundial template. In the box at the end of the line, write the number 12. The camper can decorate the template, but be sure to leave room around the outside edge to write in numbers.
  • Glue the template to the paper plate or cardboard.
  • Poke a hole in the center with a sharp pencil.
  • Put the straw through the hole and tape it into place.
  • Find a spot that gets sun for most of the day. At exactly noon, turn the paper plate so the straw’s shadow lines up with the 12. Fasten the paper plate to the ground with duct tape so it doesn’t move.
  • Have the camper predict what will happen an hour later. At exactly 1:00, mark the spot on the paper plate and write 1. Repeat this process every hour on the hour to make the clock. To use the sundial on subsequent days, it must be put in the same place in the same position.



  • Pre-K/Early Elementary: Use Math-U-See integer blocks to make the block clock shown on the activity page. As the camper marks each hour on the sundial, have him compare the time on the sundial to the corresponding time on the block clock.
  • Lower Elementary: Label the sundial with Roman numerals.
  • Upper Elementary: As the camper is marking each of the hours, ask him to identify the angle made by the straw’s shadow and the 12:00 line. (For example, at 2:00, an acute angle is made. At 7:00, an obtuse angle is created.)


Discover the Sun Giveaway

Take photos of your family enjoying a summer activity and upload them to social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTheSun or upload them below to enter.


Related Blog Posts

Discover the Sun: Opening Ceremony (6/19)
Discover the Sun: App Connections (6/22)
Discover the Sun: Grab Bag (6/23)
Discover the Sun: Closing Campfire (6/25)


Next series: America.


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