Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Me and My Shadow - Section 4: Explain/Elaborate


During our discussion, several students kept correcting themselves when they were describing the way that shadows changed. They start by saying that the Sun is moving or changes positions and I have to remind them that it is the Earth that is moving.

Many students think that the sun disappears on the horizon when the sun sets and that this is because the sun is moving or dropping into the ocean (this is what I used to think). It's important to make sure to explain to students that it's actually the earth's movement that causes night and day and the different positions of the shadows. It would be a good idea to demonstrate night and day before doing the shadow lesson. The students also need to understand the difference between rotation and revolution of the earth when learning about night and day. This lesson teaches the students about What Makes Day and Night? and this lesson teaches about Rotation and Revolution of Earth Around the Sun.

  Misconceptions about the movement of the sun and earth
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Misconceptions about the movement of the sun and earth
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Me and My Shadow

Unit 2: The Sun and Earth Connection
Lesson 7 of 16

Objective: Students will learn about shadows and how they change throughout the day. They will also use shadows to learn that they are a result of the the earth moving, not the sun.

Big Idea: Students will carry out an investigation to show the patterns of the daily changes of the length and direction of shadows. They will represent their data in graphical displays.

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  70 minutes
students measuring shadow
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