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This is a companion book to the Traditions of the Sun web site. Learners can use the book to learn about the Sun's dynamic nature, explore images from NASA's cutting-edge solar missions and understand more fully the human connection we all have to... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

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

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

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)

In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (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 is a lesson plan for an activity illustrating the reasons for the seasons. Learners predict sunrise, noon, and sunset positions on the dates of the equinoxes and solstices, observe these positions in a planetarium, plot their data on graphs,... (View More)