Next Time You See a Sunset

Emily Morgan
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Activity , Informative Text , Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



“Next time you see a sunset, stop and sit down for a while.” This book's opening line invites students to observe a daily phenomenon.

Next Time You See a Sunset, a nonfiction, picture book, written by Emily Morgan, describes the everyday phenomenon of sunsets and sunrises.  The last page of the book includes an Activities to Encourage a Sense of Wonder section as well as a website resources section.   This nonfiction book is available for purchase and is also available in a downloadable pdf version from NSTA Kids Press.  It is 32 pages long.  The teacher must purchase or have this book on hand to complete this resource.

It is one book in a series of books entitled Next Time You See.  The series is also from NSTA Kids Press.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 1
  • Early Elementary
  • Pre-Kindergarten
Access Restrictions

Available for purchase - The right to view, keep, and/or download material upon payment of a one-time fee.

Performance Expectations

1-ESS1-1 Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include that the sun and moon appear to rise in one part of the sky, move across the sky, and set; and stars other than our sun are visible at night but not during the day.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of star patterns is limited to stars being seen at night and not during the day.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The related resources give ideas on how to use this text for supporting instruction of three dimensions. The hands-on activities help the learner make observations about sunlight. Data can also be obtained through and entering your zip code. It must be noted that some of the information in the text extends beyond the Performance Expectation.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The related resources provide ideas on how to use this text with hands-on activities to help the learner make observations about the sun. Data can also be obtained through and entering your zip code. Also use the O-W-L Activity which is included in this resource as part of the recommended activities will support addressing the Practice.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The Sunset Anticipation guide and Page Keeley’s formative assessment probe: When is My Shadow the Longest? ( can be used to help the teacher decide if the edited Disciplinary Core idea has been understood. This resource only quickly mentions the moon and does not mention the stars in the sky.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
It is suggested that the class make and record many observations of sunlight throughout the year, then read the text. Finally each student should analyze the observations, with support from the teacher and the class, with the goal of using the observations as evidence to make a prediction about what might happen to sunlight during the upcoming month.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource and the nonfiction text addresses the Sun as it relates to the earth and the pattern that is observed. It does not include other patterns observed in the Moon or the Stars of the universe or how how these observations change due to the seasons. The related activities are recommended to enhance the learning experience. Reading of this nonfiction text combined with the recommended activities, and observations made of the Sun over time strongly supports all three dimensions of NGSS according to the Performance Expectation, Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, and Crosscutting Concepts described in this review.

  • Instructional Supports: Allowing for discussion throughout the reading of the book will enable students to make connections to their own, and others' ideas and prior knowledge. The activities and observations are accessible to all learners with little adjustment. Since the activities are guided activities, the teacher can utilize instructional supports when necessary and allow students to participate and respond at their own level.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The related activities have an Anticipation Guide that can be used as a pre and post assessment. It is also recommended that the instructor use the formative assessment probe by Page Keeley mentioned in this review. [Page Keeley’s formative assessment probe: When is My Shadow the Longest? ( ].

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This book and the suggested activities require limited Technologial Interactivity.