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Earth, moon and sun  
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Elementary school  
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This chapter provides an overview of the science of studying the Earth system, with a focus on understanding the connections among phenomena that can be traced through the energy, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles, on a range of time and... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More)

This lesson attempts to correct the common misconception that the Earth is closer to the Sun during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Proceeding from student preconceptions, small groups participate in an exploration of the cause of the seasons... (View More)

The purpose of this kinesthetic activity is for students to learn the relative motions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Awareness of these different motions is needed to develop an understanding of the causes of the day/night cycle, the seasons and the... (View More)

This lesson addresses the common student misconception that the Earth is closer to the Sun during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This lesson encourages students to voice this misconception at the beginning of the lesson and then attempts to... (View More)

Keywords: Orbit; Tilt

This is a lesson plan for an activity about the nature of the Sun's apparent motion throughout the day. Learners will follow detailed instructions to construct a sundial using everyday materials and make measurements of the shadow cast by the... (View More)

In this activity, students become familiar with the orientation of shadows, their size in relation to the object casting them, and how the alignment of the Sun, the object, and the shadow tells us much about how shadows work. Supplies needed for... (View More)

Keywords: Angle

This inquiry activity supports student understanding of the cause of light, heat and shadow, how to measure the passage of time, and how to use rules and other measuring tools. Students make observations using shadows, a meter stick, and a homemade... (View More)

In this introductory activity, students are introduced to the fundamental tools of scientific inquiry: observing, identifying changes, perspectives and patterns. Materials needed include student journals, pencils, crayons, plastic sample bags,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

In this inquiry investigation, students learn that while the Sun appears to move around the Earth, in fact it is the Earth spinning around on its axis while the Sun remains stationary. Materials suggested for this activity include an easel or wipe... (View More)