The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year.
5E Lesson Model:
Engage- Students will build on prior knowledge by evaluating opinions on moon phases, and watch a time lapse video of the night sky and record their observations.
Explore-Students will act as the Earth as they revolve around the Sun. As they revolve, students will take notice of the constellations they can see from certain locations during the year.
Explain- Students will read about the objects in the sky, and the patterns they create, in the STEMscopedia.
Elaborate- Students will create “Tweets” to summarize what they know about a variety of objects in the sky.
Evaluate- Students will be evaluated on the completion and accuracy of their STEMscope packet. There will not be a formal assessment for this scope. We will finish this scope before spring break.
The ecliptic is the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Earth orbits, or revolves around, the Sun approximately once every 365.25 days. This number is the basis of our normal 365 day year and our 366 day leap year.
Earth makes one complete spin around its axis approximately every 24 hours, which is the basis for our day-night cycle.
Shadows are caused by opaque objects that block out a light source. The changing position of the Sun causes changing shadows during different times of day. The Sun’s angle and height in the sky determine the length and direction of each shadow.
5E Lesson Model:
Engage- Students will create a sky viewer and will realize that the setting sun isn’t moving, Earth is spinning.
Explore- Students will make a universe in a box as a model to study Earth’s orbital movement around the Sun, and will see why the constellations change.
Explain- Students will read about Earth's rotation in the STEMscopedia.
Elaborate- Students will act out the rotation of the sun, explain the differences in shadows depending on time of day, and study sun dials.
Evaluate- Students will answer 3 open ended questions tentatively scheduled for March 21st.