Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding What Makes Day and Night? - Section 3: Explore/Explain


To give the students a better understanding of an abstract topic, I like to give them a kinesthetic tool to help them. This particular model of the "wrap around maps" and the students rotating like the Earth around the Sun helps them grasp that night and day are caused by the Earth's movement, not the Sun's movement. The misconception often comes up that it is the Sun moving, not the Earth (especially since we talk about the terms sunrise and sunset). I also emphasize with the students that this movement is rotation or spinning. The other term that comes up with the investigation is revolution and these 2 terms can be confused easily. I clarify that revolution is when the Earth orbits around the Sun in a year and we learn about this in the next lesson that is the playground model. In showing this movement with a globe, they student also see a more 3 dimensional version of what they are doing. 


  Kinesthetic Learning
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Kinesthetic Learning
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What Makes Day and Night?

Unit 2: The Sun and Earth Connection
Lesson 4 of 16

Objective: SWBAT explain that day and night are caused by the rotation of the Earth on its axis.

Big Idea: The rotation or spin of the Earth on its axis is the movement that causes day and night.

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  65 minutes
day and night lesson
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