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Learners explore Earth's rotation and the Moon's role in our 24-hour day, using their bodies to explore and model the Earth's daily motions in this kinethetic exploration. They relate the motion of the Earth about its axis (rotation) to the... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the motion of the Earth around the Sun. Learners will act out the motions of Earth as it orbits around the Sun over the course of one year, starting with modeling one day, then one year, and finally the months.

This is an activity about the relation between day length and temperature. In one team, learners will create and analyze a graph of hours of sunlight versus month of the year for a number of latitudes. In another team, learners will graph... (View More)

This is an activity about the concept of direct versus indirect sunlight. Learners construct and use a sun angle analyzer to investigate the effect of angle on area illuminated. The fraction of light on each square of the analyzer is then calculated... (View More)

This is an activity about the measurement of time. Learners model the rotation of Earth over one day by holding a flashlight for the Sun and a blow up globe, and record their observations. Then, they use those observations to create devices that... (View More)

This is an activity about the rotation of the Earth and Sun, and the Earth's revolution around the Sun. In chalk, learners will draw the Sun-Earth system, complete with Earth's orbit, and then act out the rotation and revolution of a yearly cycle.... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school

This is an activity about day and night as a result of the Earth's rotation. Learners will first identify what they already know about day, night, and rotation and will be asked to share any questions they may have. Then, a book is read out loud in... (View More)

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)

In this inquiry investigation, students study the motion and positions of the Earth and how they affect the path of sunlight we get in different places. They discover that the Earth must be curved to account for the different lengths of shadows at... (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
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