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Earth, moon and sun  
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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

In this laboratory activity, learners explore the difference between heat and temperature, and explore the rate of heat transfer from one substance to another as it depends on the density of the substances being investigated. The activity can be... (View More)

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)

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

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)

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

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

This is an activity about the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Learners will first use elements of the orbit of Earth and Pluto and an apparatus using string, a pencil, and pushpins to accurately draw an ellipse, showing the nearly circular shape of... (View More)