Overview of Section Resources

Section 1: Day and Night
Students review how the Sun changes position in the sky throughout the day. They then observe a model of Earth and the Sun to understand how Earth's rotation leads to day and night, and to observe how the time of day or night varies over the globe.
Section 2: The Moon Revolves Around Earth
Students manipulate a model demonstrating how the Moon's revolution around Earth causes phases. They also observe a demonstration about the Moon's periods of rotation and revolution, which explains why the same side of the Moon always faces Earth. As homework, students observe and draw Moon phases over a period of a month.
Section 3: Eclipses
Students investigate the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Earth that cause solar and lunar eclipses. They record their observations of their models in a drawing.
Section 4: The Reasons for the Seasons
Students investigate why Earth has seasons. Using a globe, the teacher demonstrates how the tilt of Earth's axis affects the angle of sunlight throughout the year. Students compare direct and slanted light and observe the movement of sunlight over several months.
Section 5: Sunlight Angle and Energy
Students measure temperature changes that result from direct and slanted sunlight, then observe a solar cell powering a motor. As homework, students research uses of solar cells as an electricity source.
Section 6: The Planets
Students begin by learning the order of the planets. They create a scale model of the solar system, using a measuring tape to plot and mark distances to planet orbits. As homework, students locate planets, then compare their locations two to three months later.
Section 7: Gathering Information in Space
The section begins with an overview of planet characteristics. As a class, students model a space probe “flyby” and create a composite image. Then they view a video showing computer images of planet surfaces. Students participate in a model of how space probes relay information to Earth.
Section 8: Observing Constellations
Students study and observe stars and constellations. The teacher constructs a telescope and students use it. Students use star maps and make and view pinhole constellation patterns. As homework, students observe the night sky, locate constellations, and observe that stars rise and set, just as the Sun does.