If you’ve seen the sunset in the Sonoran Desert, you’ve probably seen a lot of different colors in the sky. One moment the sky is pink and orange, the next it’s a lovely pale lavender color!
For this exercise we’ll take pictures of the setting sun at different time intervals. We’ll be able to see how the sky changes over the course of sunset! Then we’ll write poems based on our sky photographs.
Materials: You’ll need a phone with a camera, a digital camera, or a polaroid where you can see the image soon after being photographed. If you don’t have these, don’t fret! You can print out the prompts below and answer the questions at sunset, while you are watching the sky.
Don’t forget a pencil/pen and paper for writing!
Timing & Setting: This exercise is time-sensitive! On March 16th, for example, the sun will set at 6:33. Make sure to start your session a little before sunset so you can get some pictures of the sun before and after it sets. Keep in mind as we approach summer, the sun will set later and later! Sunset times for a given day are easy to look up if you have internet access.
It’s best to do this exercise on a day when there are clouds in the sky. Sunsets are the most striking when there are clouds for sunlight to reflect off of.
Process: With an adult, take a trip outside! You can simply walk out your front door or if you want to adventure, you and an adult can go to your favorite sunset-watching spot!
Choose a portion of the sky to study. It’s important to have a good view of the clouds for this project. Hint: we aren’t taking pictures of the setting sun/horizon itself. We want to see the colorful light reflected on the clouds. (See the attached .pdf for examples!) You can photograph the sky right above your head, or near the horizon, or you can choose to photograph the mountains—they change colors too during sunset!
Take a picture every 7 minutes. And take about 4 pictures. Your picture schedule should look something like this:
6:26 Take picture
6:33 Take picture
6:40 Take picture
6:47 Take picture
Writing: We will write a poem for each picture!
What colors do you see in the clouds and sky?
Can you think of other things that are also this color?
If you could touch the sky, what would it feel like?
What color(s) are the clouds now?
If you could lick the clouds what would they taste like?
Where are the clouds going?
What colors do you see in the clouds/sky?
If you could ask the sky a question what would you ask?
Why do you think the colors in the sky change?
Pretend to be a cloud in this picture. Pick any 3 of the following questions to answer:
What would you do? What would you say?
Would you talk to the other clouds?
Would you say something to the sun?
How would you feel changing colors so often?
If you were a cloud, how would you feel about the sun setting? Would you be angry at it for going away? Would you like that the sun paints you into several colors?