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The Reasons for the Seasons
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Summary: The Reasons for the Seasons is actually three activities in one. In Do Shadows Change with the Seasons?, students conduct a controlled investigation to determine the length of the sun's shadow on a fixed object (i.e., flagpole, telephone pole, etc.) over a three-day period (one day in the fall, one in the winter, and one in the spring).  This concrete experience acts as a springboard to the abstract understanding of the positioning of the sun and Earth as it relates to the changing seasons. In How Do Sunrise and Sunset Change with the Seasons?, students plot sunrise and sunset data collected from the first day of fall, winter, and spring in order to analyze seasonal patterns. In What Can a Model of the Earth and Sun Tell Us about the Seasons?, the teacher uses a lamp and globe to reinforce the connection between the Earth's tilt, its revolution, and seasonal change. The Family Page extends this learning to the community by providing families with challenges to explore at home.

Related Topics: light/radiant energy, heat/thermal energy, shadow, cycles, smog, ozone layer

Ohio Academic Standards Alignment: Click here to view content standards alignment to Science for Ohio by grade level.

Classroom Time Required: 45 minutes (fall), 30 minutes (winter), 150-180 minutes (spring)

Background Information: