Seasons and Earth's orbit lesson plan?

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by miss_wells, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. miss_wells

    miss_wells New Member

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Hi to all!

    I am now to this site....well I am new to posting on this site. I frequent it quite often. I am a student teacher and I have one of my first big lessons coming up in about a week or so. I need to teach a 3rd grade lesson on the seasons and the earth's orbit.

    Does anyone have any neat ideas? Comments? suggestions???

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Feb 21, 2008

    I've taught this unit for several years. 1st -- make sure you have a complete understanding of what causes seasons and what does not. I watched in horror as a "science teacher" at a school taught her third graders that it became winter because the Earth was fartheest away in its orbit from the sun and it became summer when the Earth moved closer to the sun! Of course, that is totally incorrect.

    2nd, Make sure the students understand what the Earth's axis is, and why the Earth's 23.5 degree tilt on its axis is what causes seasons.

    For fun, explain that seasons are opposite in different parts of the world. There is a good Science Court video about this, if your school has it. It explains why, when it is summer in North America, it is winter in Australia.
     
  4. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    May 6, 2008

    This is my FAVORITE science unit to teach! I created a webquest for students to complete as part of a culminating activity on this unit. Here are some websites from my webquest that focus on the movement of the earth/seasons:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/9_10/earth_sun_moon.shtml
    http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/earth_and_space/eng/Introduction/default.htm

    I had the students complete an activity sheet along with the webquest. If you're interested, PM me and I will send you the sheet as well as the webquest.

    Hope it helps! Have fun teaching!
     
  5. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    May 7, 2008

    More ideas....

    A few more things...

    1. I think it's important to help students understand the difference between rotation and revolution. Show them models, have them draw pictures, make it as concrete as possible - no matter how simple. For example, have the students stand up and make a large circle around the classroom while you stand in the center. Tell them that you are the sun and they are the earth. With their bodies, they need to show rotation (spinning in place) and revolution (walking around you). Then have them put it together and ask questions like which movement causes day and night, which movement causes the seasons. Their answers should be shown with their bodies. Review rotation and revolution every lesson. Be sure that they know that its the earth's revolution AND tilt that causes the seasons.

    2. You could always use a globe and a flashlight. Put a marker where your state is on the globe and show rotation and revolution. The book "What Makes the Seasons" by Franklyn M. Branley is a great one to use along with this lesson (it even has a demonstration idea using an orange, stick, and flashlight).

    3. This is a great link/video to help show what causes the seasons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuiQvPLWziQ . However, since it is on YouTube, it might be 'forbidden' to show at school but it would give you a great explanation for yourself. And here is another link/lesson: http://www.fi.edu/time/Journey/JustInTime/seasons2.html Similar to the second idea I mentioned.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Have fun!
     
  6. cheevey

    cheevey New Member

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    May 9, 2009

    Hi Mc Angel Do you think you could send me the web quest you were talking about in this post. I have this lesson coming up on my teaching practice and I think your idea is brilliant.
     
  7. cheevey

    cheevey New Member

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    May 9, 2009

    Mc Angel, can you send me your webquest for the science unit on the earths orbit and the seasons. I know that there was a difference between rotation and revolution but my mentor said they were the same thing. Agghh. SO glad I found this post.
     
  8. sciencerocks

    sciencerocks New Member

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    Jan 2, 2010

    Hi mcangel
    I'm teaching Space for the 1st time this year. I absolutely LOVED your ideas. The textbook is so boring!!!! Could you please send me the webquest for your Space unit???
    Any other ideas you could share would be great!!! This is my
    3rd year but I'll take all the help I can get.
    Thanks
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2010

    EEEK.
     
  10. lissawku10

    lissawku10 New Member

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    Oct 30, 2010

    Could someone please send me the webquest... I am teaching this unit in a few weeks and I would LOVE to use it!!!
     
  11. rlemay

    rlemay New Member

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    Mar 20, 2012

    Hello, I'm an instructor working with preK to grade 3 teachers. I am interested in your web quest. Could you send me the web quest you spoke of?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 20, 2012

    Welcome to A to Z, rlemay.

    It's been almost four years since mcangel posted about the Webquest; whether you'll get an answer is hard to say.

    You might find some help on Richard Byrne's remarkable blog Free Tech For Teachers, www.freetech4teachers.com.
     

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