# Earth s Revolution and Rotation Grade Eight

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1 Ohio Standards Connection: Earth and Space Sciences Benchmark A Describe how the positions and motions of the objects in the universe cause predictable and cyclic events. Indicator 1 Describe how objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motions that explain such phenomena as days, years, seasons, eclipses, tides and moon cycles. Lesson Summary: The purpose of this lesson is to help students learn about the regular motions of the sun, Earth and the moon and explain how these are related to days, years, seasons, eclipses, tides and moon cycles. Students participate in an exercise where they explore the similarities and differences of these predictable motions. As the first step, students complete a pre-assessment about sun-moon-earth phenomena. The teacher then sets up an imaginary research institute with stations arranged in a matrix. Students in groups move among sections of the matrix and make observations of sun-moon-earth models. Using notes from their observations, students explore how movements of the Earth and moon impact phenomena such as seasons, tides, and moon phases. The summative assessment asks students to describe these celestial phenomena. Estimated Duration: Three hours and 20 minutes Commentary: Using planetary data to predict phenomena such as seasons, tides, and moon cycles is conceptually difficult. This lesson implements models to make these conceptually abstract phenomena tangible for students. The design of the lesson challenges students to discover how the motions of the moon and Earth produce predictable cyclic phenomena. As students move planets in the models, they observe the effects of these changes on the planets. Pre-Assessment: See Attachment A, Motion of Earth and Space, Preassessment, for student worksheet. The teacher version with answers is shown below. Match each of the following situations with a result of the motion of Earth in space. 1

2 Teacher Section: 1. Yildiz witnessed a very big shadow cast on the Earth by the moon. (solar eclipse) 2. Andrew got a sun tan in December when he took a vacation in Australia. (summer in the southern hemisphere) 3. Jeff could play outside much longer because daylight lasted 12 hours. (spring equinox) 4. Monique helped count monarch butterflies as they migrated to Mexico. (winter is coming) 5. Ekata loved to study the leaves as they turned color and fell from deciduous trees. (autumn) 6. Alfonso said some plants flower only in the summer. (Chemical clock for response to length of daylight) 7. Carolyn lives in Los Angeles so she cannot call her Grandmother at 9 p.m. because it is midnight in Cleveland. (Earth rotates a distance in an hour) 8. Jerome checked to see if the same side of the moon always faces Earth. (moon s period of rotation equals its period of revolution.) 9. Mary had to hurry to study the tide pool before the water came in again. (Moon s gravitational pull on Earth) 10. Jasmine could not see the moon even though the night sky was clear and starry. (new moon) Scoring Guidelines: The pre-assessment is a jump start for students to call upon prior knowledge and prepare to increase that knowledge through the lesson. Mistakes and misconceptions will be addressed in the lesson. Post-Assessment: See Attachment B, Motion of Earth in Space, Post-Assessment, for student handout. Students will provide explanations for five specific situations related to motion of Earth, sun and moon. Scoring Guidelines: Students should complete enough correctly in their explanations to earn a score of 12 out of 15 which is 80%. Less than that would indicate intervention is necessary so understanding moves toward mastery. Attachment C, Post-Assessment Rubric, will help the teacher review the Post-assessment. Instructional Procedures: 1. Divide the room into five sections that will serve as stations. 2. Put models together for each station (five models for five stations). Students can put the models together, or you can prepare them ahead of time. A drawing can be found in Attachment D, Model Set-up for Earth-Moon-Sun System. Cut wire coat hangers. Keep the one wire straight (20-25 cm); bend the other wire at a right angle (10 cm across, 15 cm up) for inserting into the clay and the moon (10 cm across, 15 cm up). 2

3 Draw a colored line around the circumference of the larger ball and label it the equator. Draw and label the major landmasses in their relative locations on Earth. Color the smaller ball to represent the moon. Stick the straight wire securely through the Earth so a short tip extends out of the top and secure it into a ball of clay on the other end. If the wire does not go completely through the Earth, stick a toothpick out of the top to represent the top of the axis. Stick the bent wire into the moon on one end, and secure it into the ball of clay on the other end. Use the protractor to set the Earth at a 23.5º angle (67 degrees from the horizontal). The models work better when stabilized in a block of wood or hard Styrofoam. On large paper draw the orbit of the Earth around the sun. Mark Earth s position in January, April, July, and October. Duplicate the set up so there are models for all five stations. Label the first station Day/Night; the second one Years/Seasons; the third one Eclipses, the fourth one Tides and the fifth one Moon Cycles. For the fourth station, add a baggie or clear balloon around a ball that is colored to be Earth. Be sure the difference between oceans and continents is clear. A small hand held vacuum is needed for this station. For the fifth station add two extra balls, one more Earth and one more moon; color half of the moon black or dark. Put an axis through the moon and keep these balls free so students can see observe how the moon rotates with the same half always facing Earth. Label this station Moon Cycles. 3. Tell students they are going on a mission into the Earth-Sun-Moon Matrix and should complete the pre-assessment. Have students correct their work in another color ink and discuss the responses. 4. Arrange students into small groups with every student taking an active role in observation and response. 5. Explain the students are to move counterclockwise through the matrix. In each compartment, they will find a different task. They are to follow the directions and complete detailed recording of the observations before they leave for the next compartment. The INPUT for each compartment is similar; the equipment is similar; the task is different. Instructional Tip: Be careful not to enter a compartment where another team is working because it is not time to share information yet. Each team must travel the journey on their own and learn as they move through the compartments. 6. The directions for each station are printed in Attachment E, Student Compartment Directions. Cut out these directions and tape them to the tables in each station. 7. Tell students to begin at the stations of their choosing, and then circulate among stations in a counter-clockwise fashion. Move around the room to make sure that students are following directions and taking notes on what they learn from each station. Students should be trying to determine answers to questions posed on the directions at each station. 3

4 8. After students complete all stations, have them return to their seats. Students use the notes and drawings from the stations reference materials to complete Attachment G, Comparison Matrix. Students will determine the key factor that was present in every compartment of the journey through the stations. What do you think is the key that explains the phenomena that occur due to the predictable motions of these objects in the universe? Be prepared to justify your answer. Instructional Tip: Not every section of the Earth in Space Comparison Matrix needs to be completed. It is important for students to recognize relationships between the concepts. It is a tool for students to use to identify similarities. 9. Assign Attachment H, Homework. Explain that the homework is to help prepare for the test. 10. The next day, discuss answers carefully to be certain students connected the motion of Earth, moon and sun to the phenomena suggested in the homework. 11. Complete Attachment B, Motion of Earth in Space, Post-Assessment. The postassessment is reinforcement and review so it should be discussed upon completion or following teacher grading, Attachment C, Post-Assessment Rubric. Differentiated Instructional Support: Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the intent of the specified indicator or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the specified indicator. Have students plan to go lobstering in Maine. Students can find tidal charts on the internet to help them plan the best time to set and collect their traps. A moon calendar with simple drawings or real-life photographs could be created and displayed. The class collects observations of changes in seasons through photographs, newspaper articles or just keeping a class record of things noted. Have students design a model to show how the Earth bulges during spring tides. Have students diagram alignment of the Earth, sun, moon during highest tides; then at right angles during neap tides. Use a globe already set at 23.5 for students who are not able to visualize with the model. Extensions: Research legends, myths, and scientific discoveries by ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, Mayan, and Native American. Track tides for several days, or even one month, to see the correlation between the phases of the moon and the occurrence of tides. Graph the tides for one specific location. Have students look up vocabulary for further study, such as perihelion, aphelion, umbra, penumbra, neap tides, spring tides, zenith, solstice, and equinox. 4

5 Homework Options and Home Connections: Have students observe the current moon phase and predict when the next full moon will occur. Note sunrise and sunset times on the news or in the paper and determine where the sun s rays are hitting the Earth in relation to equinox and solstice. Interdisciplinary Connections: English Language Arts: Write extended metaphors using the moon and its many faces. Mathematics: Graph tides for one specific location over a period of time, or compare tidal patterns for several locations. Materials and Resources: The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students. For the teacher: For the student: Stiff wire or wire coat hanger, globe, protractors, flashlights or lamps with light bulbs, modeling clay, styrofoam balls (two different sizes.) Stiff wire or wire coat hanger, globe, protractors, flashlights or lamps with light bulbs, markers, pencils, drawing paper, modeling clay, styrofoam balls (two different sizes.) Vocabulary: alignment axis Earth gravitational pull lunar eclipse moon phases revolution rotation solar eclipse sun tides tilt equator 5

6 elliptical path Earth s Revolution and Rotation Grade Eight Technology Connections: Students can use the internet to research the following information: Students research tidal times for several locations. Use the Internet to determine the location, date, and time of solar and lunar eclipses. Compare weather of two locations; one in the Southern Hemisphere, one in the Northern Hemisphere. Research Connections: Marzano, R. et al. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Summarizing and note taking are two of the most powerful skills to help students identify and understand the most important aspects of what they are learning. General Tips: Models should be made sturdy enough for several manipulations the protractors should be set so students are conscious of tilt of Earth on its axis. Students may come to other conclusions when completing their similarities or differences; recognizing the SYSTEM is the important outcome of the lesson. The teacher chart that is a sample indicates that tilting on the axis is the reason these phenomena happen on Earth and are observable on Earth. Some students may look for some deep mystery; remind them to keep it simple. A bright light bulb is better than a flashlight for representing the sun in the model. A flashlight could promote the misconception that the sun focuses its energy in a specific direction. The teacher may find the following resources helpful for background information. Glover, David. Make It Work! Space. London: Two Can Publishing, Wilson, Jackie, ed. Space Encyclopedia. New York: DK Publishing,

7 Attachments: Attachment A, Motion of Earth in Space, Pre-Assessment Attachment B, Motion of Earth in Space, Post-Assessment Attachment C, Post-Assessment Rubric Attachment D, Model Set-up for Earth-Moon-Sun System Attachment E, Student Compartment Directions Attachment F, View of Tides from the Poles Attachment G, Comparison Matrix Attachment H, Homework 7

8 Attachment A Motion of Earth in Space, Pre-Assessment Response Bank: Match the ideas in the box with the statements below. (a) Solar eclipse (b) New moon (c) Summer in the southern hemisphere (d) Autumn (e) Chemical clock for response to length of daylight (f) Spring equinox (g) Moon s period of rotation equals its period of revolution (h) Moon s gravitational pull on Earth(i) Winter is coming (j) Earth rotates a distance in an hour 1. Yildiz witnessed a very big shadow cast on the Earth by the moon. 2. Andrew got a sun tan in December when he took a vacation in Australia. 3. Jeff could play outside much longer because daylight lasted 12 hours. 4. Monique helped count Monarch butterflies as they migrated to Mexico. 5. Ekata loved to study the leaves as they turned color and fell from deciduous trees. 6. Alfonso said some plants flower only in the summer. 7. Carolyn lives in Los Angeles so she cannot call her Grandmother at 9 p.m. because it is midnight in Cleveland. 8. Jerome checked to see if the same side of the moon always faces Earth. 9. Mary had to hurry to study the tide pool before the water came in again. 10. Jasmine could not see the moon even though the night sky was clear and starry. 8

9 Attachment B Motion of Earth in Space, Post-Assessment Read each scenario. Describe the motions of Earth, the sun and moon and explain how they cause the related phenomena. Example: Cameron said the highest of high tides are called spring tides. Earth revolves around the sun; the moon revolves around the Earth so sometimes all three are lined up (aligned). The combined gravitational force is a greater pull on Earth s waters at these times. Therefore, oceans bulge more and the high tides are the highest. 1. Travelers are riding their camels in an easterly direction across the Sahara desert toward Cairo. They left their camp as soon as the sun came into view over the eastern horizon. Near day s end they were weary of the sun, sand and heat and rested in an oasis watching the sun disappear. 2. Temperatures are low and food is scarce so chipmunks hibernate while the frogs burrow into the mud and remain dormant until warm weather arrives. 3. The astronomer loved to study the moon; he would have gazed at the same craters and marias and rilles every night, but sometimes there was no moon and sometimes only one part of the moon would show. He could only study the full moon about once a month. 4. Fishermen and scientists along the Atlantic shore can read the times of the tides for their port in their daily newspapers. 5. Astrologers from the ancient Mayan civilization were able to predict there would be a solar eclipse about every 18 years. What is a solar eclipse, and what is the difference between a partial and total eclipse? 9

10 Attachment C Post-Assessment Rubric Travelers Question EARTH IN SPACE POST-ASSESSMENT RUBRIC Response includes that Response includes at least Response includes only one Earth rotates on its axis; one two of these facts: Earth of these facts: Earth rotates complete rotation takes 24 rotates on its axis; one on its axis; one complete hours; the rays of the sun complete rotation takes 24 rotation takes 24 hours; the cover one half of the face of hours; the rays of the sun rays of the sun cover one the Earth; the sun seems to cover one half of the face of half of the face of the Earth; rise in the east and set in the the Earth; the sun seems to the sun seems to rise in the west. rise in the east and set in the east and set in the west. west. Animals Question Response includes that Earth revolves around the sun; one complete revolution is 365 days; because of the tilt on its axis, the sun s rays are slanted so days are shorter, temperatures are lower so some animals have a period of dormancy. Response includes three of the facts: Earth revolves around the sun; one complete revolution is 365 days; Earth is closer to the sun during the winter, but because of the tilt on the axis, the sun s rays are slanted so days are shorter, temperatures are lower so some animals have a period of dormancy. Response includes two of the facts: Earth revolves around the sun; one complete revolution is 365 days; Earth is closer to the sun during the winter, but because of the tilt on the axis, the sun s rays are slanted so days are shorter, temperatures are lower so some animals have a period of dormancy. Astronomer Question Response includes moon s rotation equals revolution so the same side of the moon always faces Earth; half of the moon s surface reflects light from the sun; as the moon revolves around Earth the size of the visible surface changes (moon phases); the moon takes approximately a month to complete its cycle. Response includes three of the facts: moon s rotation equals revolution so the same side of the moon always faces Earth; half of the moon s surface reflects light from the sun; as the moon revolves around Earth the size of the visible surface changes (moon phases); the moon takes approximately a month to complete its cycle. Response includes two of the facts: moon s rotation equals revolution so the same side of the moon always faces Earth; half of the moon s surface reflects light from the sun; as the moon revolves around Earth the size of the visible surface changes (moon phases); the moon takes approximately a month to complete its cycle. 10

11 Attachment C Post-Assessment Rubric Continued Fisherman Question EARTH IN SPACE POST-ASSESSMENT RUBRIC Response includes four of Response includes three of Response includes two of the following facts: The the following facts: The the following facts: The gravitational pull of the gravitational pull of the gravitational pull of the moon causes the oceans of moon causes the oceans of moon causes the oceans of Earth to move. Twice each Earth to move. Twice each Earth to move. Twice each day the oceans rise in a high day the oceans rise in a high day the oceans rise in a high tide and fall in a low tide. tide and fall in a low tide. tide and fall in a low tide. Water on the side of Earth Water on the side of Earth Water on the side of Earth closest to the moon is closest to the moon is closest to the moon is affected most. When the sun, affected most. When the affected most. When the moon and Earth are aligned, sun, moon and Earth are sun, moon and Earth are the highest high and lowest aligned, the highest high aligned, the highest high low tides occur and lowest low tides occur. and lowest low tides occur. Ancient Question Response includes a solar eclipse is when the moon gradually moves over the sun. When only part of the sun is covered, it is a partial eclipse and can be seen over a wide area. When the sun is completely hidden by the moon, it is a total eclipse which can be seen only in a narrow region. Response includes two of these facts: a solar eclipse is when the dark circle of the moon gradually moves over the sun. When only part of the sun is covered, it is a partial eclipse and can be seen over a wide area. When the sun is completely hidden by the moon, it is a total eclipse which can be seen only in a narrow region. Response includes one of these facts: a solar eclipse is when the dark circle of the moon gradually moves over the sun. If only part of the sun is covered, it is a partial eclipse and can be seen over a wide area. If the sun is completely hidden by the moon, it is a total eclipse which can be seen only in a narrow region. 11

12 Attachment D Model Set-up for Earth-Moon-Sun System 12

13 Attachment E Student Compartment Directions REMINDER: Be careful not to enter a compartment where another team is working because it is not time to share information yet. Each team must travel the journey on its own and learn as its moves through the compartments. Day/Night compartment directions: Place Earth on its orbit, turn on the sun, move Earth through a pattern to view when it is day and when it is night in North America. Observe where it is night when North America has day and where it is day when North America has night. Record your observations in detail, using drawings and written notes. When the task is complete and the group is in agreement, the next compartment can be entered. Year/Seasons compartment directions: Place Earth on its orbit; move Earth slowly through a pattern of one year with the sun shining. Earth must rotate while revolving around the sun. Observe carefully and record details. Observe the angle of the sun s rays when North America is at July and at January. Compare North America to Australia at these points in the elliptical revolution around the sun. Common Misconception: Earth is farther from the sun in winter; actually Earth is closest to the sun in January. Eclipses compartment directions: Place Earth on its orbit, manipulate the model so Earth rotates while it revolves around the sun. At the same time the moon must revolve around the Earth. Watch for shadows, check when the shadow is partial or whole. Note the position of the sun and moon when the shadows occur. Identify several places the shadows occur and when they cover more or less of Earth. Challenge: Consider timing of the movements of both solar system bodies. 13

14 Attachment E Student Compartment Directions Continued Tides compartment directions: Place Earth on its orbit, manipulate the model so Earth and moon are revolving. Note when the sun, moon and Earth are in a straight line. Note, also, when the moon is at a right angle to the sun and Earth line. Challenge: What occurs when the three are aligned? What occurs when the three are at right angles? Line the hand held vacuum with the ball in the baggie. Turn on the power and move closer until the baggie is pulled close to the other side of the Earth, and turn off the power. Note the bulge where the vacuum was pulled away and how close the baggie is on the sides. Think of the baggie as the ocean waters of Earth, and think of the vacuum as gravity from the moon. Moon Phases compartment directions: Place Earth on its orbit and manipulate the model. Observe phases of the moon carefully. Begin with the new moon. Note: The tidal forces between the Earth and moon slowed the moon s rotation until it became locked with its orbit around the Earth. The rotation of the moon and its revolution around Earth take place within the same amount of time. Therefore, the same side of the moon always faces Earth. Bonus Challenge: While observing for moon phases, try to determine when the gravitational pull of the moon would be the greatest. Think: when would the high tides be the highest? Where would the low tides be at that time? 14

15 Attachment F, View of Tides from the Poles Looking down on the Earth toward the North Pole, the bulging oceans would look like this at high tides. 15

16 Attachment G Comparison Matrix Rotation of Earth Tilt on Axis 23.5 Moves in Elliptical Orbit Gravitational Pull Alignment of Solar Objects Revolution of Earth Rotation of Moon Revolution of Moon 16

17 Attachment H Homework Describe how regular and predictable motions of objects in the solar system explain the related phenomenon. Example: James was sitting in the sunshine in Chicago talking to his cousin Tokyo while his cousin was observing stars in the sky. The Earth makes one complete rotation in 24 hours. The Earth faces the sun on one side so it is daylight; the other side is away from the sun so there is darkness. a. Manuel knew the harshness of the winter was beginning because the meteorologist on the news said today was the shortest day and longest night of the year. b. Marybelle raised her hand to explain why there is a leap year. c. Charles and his family travel to Vermont every autumn to see the beautiful colors of changing deciduous forests. d. Vernon told his little brother that the moon really did not send out its own light. e. Arielle wondered if all tides are the same. 17

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