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Learners model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. They use their bodies to review the Earth's daily motions before investigating the reason for Earth's seasons in this kinesthetic exploration. The motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) and... (View More) in orbit around the Sun (revolution) is related to the appearance of the sky over the course of the day and year. Next they model that if the Earth's tilt was not stabilized by Moon, Earth's axis would slowly wobble between straight up (0° tilt) to nearly on its side (80° tilt). The resulting seasonal extremes would be unfavorable for life. Note that this activity is appropriate for children who are able to explore the geometry of Sun-Earth-Moon relationships in three dimensions. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon.
This is a reading strategy guide in a series of guides that utilizes articles from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program. These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy (in this case,... (View More) Roundtable Discussions) and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two-page reading based on a particular space science concept. The reading incorporated into this strategy guide, "Seasons on Mars," introduces students to key concepts about seasons on other planets by comparing the seasons on Earth to those on Mars. This text includes two illustrations and a data table. This strategy guide is also mapped to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects, Grades 6-8. (View Less)
This is a unit in 6 sessions about the seasons on earth. Learners will investigate the reason for seasons on earth. They will look at the circular orbit of earth, year-long temperature and daylight hours across different latitudes, compare models of... (View More) the earth with and without tilt, investigate angle and intensity of sunlight, and ends with a discussion to solidify their understanding of the reason for seasons. It supports the process of modeling to determine an answer to a question. This is Unit 2 of the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8, which is available for purchase (see related link). (View Less)