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Earth, moon and sun
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# Horizon Calendar

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)

# Building a Landscape - Sun and Shadow Diorama

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)

# Universal Time

This is a lesson plan for an activity that explores time zone math. Learners will translate their local time to times in other zones around the world and work with the concept of Universal Time, specifically in reference to the reporting,... (View More)

# Tetherball Gnomon

In this activity, students learn about the motion of the Sun in relation to the Earth, and how geographic directions are defined. Students use a tetherball pole (or an alternative) as a gnomon and the shadow the Sun casts to determine the exact... (View More)

# Sundial: When is High Noon, and How High is It?

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)

# Days and Nights Around the World

This is an activity about seasonal variations in day length. Learners will graph the number of daylight hours in each month in cities around the world and compare results. They will also gain an understanding of the meaning of the term equinox... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

# Name the Season

This is an activity about identifying and comparing the Earth’s seasons. Learners will write paragraphs depicting scenes or events that have recognizable season-related elements, without revealing the intended name. The group will then play a game... (View More)

# Seasons Unraveled - The Angle of Sunlight

This is an activity about understanding how the Earth’s axial tilt changes the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth, contributing to the variations in temperature throughout the seasons. Learners will create a sun angle analyzer in order to see... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - \$1

# Sun-Earth Survey

This is an activity about misconceptions relating to seasons. Learners will answer survey questions which specifically assess common misconceptions regarding the seasons, and learners are also encouraged to give the same survey questions to friends... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

# Trip to the Sun

This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More)