A sundial is a way to keep track of the time using the sun. As the earth rotates and the sun appears to move across the sky, the shadow also moves.

Let’s Get Started

Go outside and find a safe sunny spot in your yard, patio or balcony.

At noon plant the stick in the ground. Place a stone or a marker of your choice at the end of the shadow the stick makes. If you are numbering the points on your sundial, mark this point with the number 12.

Return at 1 o’clock (an hour later) and mark where the shadow has moved with the number 1. Repeat this step every hour until the sun sets. You’ll find that the shadow will have moved each time. At this point, you will only have completed half of the sundial. 

Return early the next morning to mark your shadows on the hour from sunrise to noon. 

You have completed your sundial. Now you can check the time whenever you are outside. 

Document Your Discoveries

Photo: akaplummer
  1. Draw your sundial in your Nature Notebook.
  2. Bonus: You can also make a sundial out of a paper plate with Ranger Rick®


  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.