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Lesson Title: Seasons
May 11, 2012

Unit: Earth and Space Science - Climate and Seasons

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Science

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 4 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: weather, ultraviolet light, Earth tilt, climate change, equinox, day and night, orbits


Signs for each month
Object to represent the sun
"East" and "west" popsicle sticks
Object or sign to represent Polaris
Optional: Zodiac constellation signs
Overhead transparencies of color visualizations and overhead projector
Copy of color visualizations for each student group
Copy of Work Sheet for each student group
Wall map to support class discussions

In this set of activities, students explore different factors related to seasonal changes.

Students will:
• Access National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and NASA climate data from Internet resources.
• Determine changes in average temperatures, precipitation and cloud cover over time from data.
• Relate global changes to local changes.
• Explain the relationship between the Earth and the sun.
• Model the movement of the Earth around the sun.
• Define solstice and equinox.

First page of Seasons

Lesson Guide
Seasons Lesson
[77KB PDF file]



Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Habits of the Mind
    Students make connections between events in their lives and the seasons of the year. One major connection relates the concept of the seasons to past observations.
    Keywords: seasons, time of year, observations, history, culture, math, equinox, solstice, length of day

  2. Kinesthetic Astronomy
    Students explain the relationship between the Earth and the sun, model the movement of the Earth around the sun and define solstice and equinox.
    Keywords: seasons, movement, orbits, Earth tilt, star positions, constellations, equinox, solstice

  3. Is Grandpa Right, Were Winters Colder When He Was A Boy?
    Students use historic weather information and compare current data to determine if there is a significant temperature change.
    Keywords: climate change, temperature records, seasons, weather, polar ice, MY NASA DATA

  4. Seasonal Change on Land and Water
    To further understanding of the causes of seasonal change, students use visualizations to compare effects of incoming solar energy in the two hemispheres.
    Keywords: solar radiation, energy budget, seasons, climate, Earth tilt, absorption, reflection, albedo

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• Dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Populations, resources and environments.
• Natural hazards, risks and benefits.
• Science and technology in society.


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator