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Inspiration Lesson Plan - Earth's Movement Around the Sun

Inspiration Lesson Plan - Earth's Movement Around the Sun

Inspiration Lesson Plan - Earth's Movement Around the Sun

Submitted by lanello on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 10:31.

Description :

1. How long the is lesson designed to take: 60 minutes

2. Lesson Plan Unit Title: Movement of the Earth Around the Sun

a. Subject: Science
b. Grade Level: Grade 5
c. Topic: Science Standard 2: Earth/Space Science
Technology Standard 3: Technology for Learning and Collaboration

3. Instructional goals:
a. Science Indicator: 2. D. Astronomy
i. 2. D. 2. Recognize and describe the causes of the repeating patterns of celestial events.
b. Technology Indicator: 3. A. Learning
i. 3. A. 1. Select and use technology tools to enhance learning.

4. Objectives:
a. Science:
i. 2. D. 2. a.: Students will describe the rotation of the planet Earth on its axis.
ii. 2. D. 1. b.: Students will recognize and describe that the rotation of Earth produces observable effects such as day and night.
iii. 2. D. 2. c.: Students will describe the revolution of planet Earth around the sun.
iv. 2. D. 2. d.: Students will recognize and describe that the revolution of Earth produces effects such as the four seasons.
b. Technology:
i. 3. A. 1. a.: Students will use technology tools, including software and hardware, from a range of teacher-selected options to learn new content or reinforce skills.
ii. 3. A. 1. c.: Students will assess the use of the selected technology for individual learning for a specific task.

5. Rationale: Students will complete this lesson in order to gain understanding of the actual movements of the Earth around the Sun. They will develop an understanding of how these movements create observable and repeating patterns on Earth. They will use Inspiration software to match models of the Earth’s orbit to the correct patterns that we observe on Earth (the four seasons and day and night).

6. Content: Earth/Space science- Astronomy- Movement of celestial objects – Observable/repeating patterns on earth due to movement of celestial objects

7. Instructional procedures:
a. Engagement:
i. Using a prepared PowerPoint presentation, show students images of Earth at nighttime, daytime, summer, winter, fall, and spring. Ask students: what are these pictures of? (day, night, and the seasons) Ask students: what causes daytime, nighttime, and the seasons? Students may share thoughts in a whole group discussion. (As students brainstorm various answers from their background knowledge, record ideas on chart paper for students to see later on.)
ii. Explain to students that the purpose of today’s lesson is to learn why we have day and nighttime and why we have the four seasons during the year. The movement of the Earth around the Sun and Earth’s position in space make life possible for us.
b. Exploration: (Or replace kinesthetic activity with the WebQuest on my homepage!!
i. Explain that the Earth moves in two ways. It rotates and it revolves (display words on PowerPoint without a definition).
ii. Ask class to stand up and form a circle around the classroom.
iii. Select a volunteer to represent the sun (hand this student the yellow ball).
iv. Ask the students to begin walking in a circle around the “sun”.
v. Ask students: How could we describe this motion? (moving around, circling around an object/sun, orbiting)
vi. Explain that this is what the word revolution means. Students may write down definitions of revolution that they came up with.
vii. Students come back to circle around the “sun”.
viii. Ask students to begin to revolve around the “sun” again. Now ask them (and tell them to be careful so they do not get dizzy) to spin slowly like a top while they are also revolving.
ix. Ask students: How would you describe this second motion? (Spinning around, ballerina spinning, etc.)
x. Explain that this is what the word rotating means. Students may write down definitions of rotation that they came up with.
xi. Ask for a two new volunteers for the second demonstration.
xii. One student is the sun; the other is the earth (hand a blue ball to the earth student, and the yellow to the sun.)
xiii. Stand the earth in front of the sun. Draw an X on the Northern hemisphere of the blue ball to represent where we are on earth and explain to the students what it represents.
xiv. When our side is facing the sun it is day. Rotate the student, now it is nighttime.
xv. Ask students: What causes day and night, rotation or revolution? (rotation)
xvi. Now ask the student to tilt the blue ball so the X is closest to the sun (explain to students that this represents the position that Earth is in space.)
xvii. Ask the student to revolve around the sun. Stop the student at each position that represents a different season. (When it is tilted directly toward the sun it is summer, Next stop as it begins to face away from the sun is fall, when it is tilted away it is winter, and the next quarter stop is spring)
xviii. Ask students: What causes the four seasons, rotation or revolution? (revolution)
c. Elaboration:
i. Ask students to go to their computer and open up the following link to use the Inspiration Software activity:
ii. Read the directions with the students and allow them the remaining time to work on the activity.
iii. Closure: Ask students share what they thought about the Inspiration software. Was it easy/hard to use? Did they understand the concept better? Did they enjoy using the software? What did they learn today about the Earth’s movement around the sun? What observable and repeating patterns on Earth offer us proof of the Earth’s movement
d. Extension:
i. Ask students to think about and locate information of the movement of the moon around the Earth for tomorrow’s lesson.

8. Evaluation procedures:
a. Informal: Observe students answers and responses during closure to check for understanding of the concept and of the technology.
b. Formal: Assess each student’s completed Inspiration page.

9. Materials:

a. Inspiration Software
b. PowerPoint presentation with pictures of earth (day, night, summer, fall, winter, spring)
c. Yellow ball (to represent sun)
d. Blue ball with an X on one side of the northern hemisphere (to represent Earth and a particular location)


Loomis, J., (1995-2008). ESO408: Explore a model of earth's yearly revolution around the sun.
Retrieved June 28, 2008, from Exploring Earth Web site: http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations...

Maryland State Board of Education, (2007). Retrieved July 2, 2008 from:

School Improvement in Maryland. (2008). Retrieved July 1, 2008 from:

Spooner, S., (1994), Bringing the solar system to life. An Educator’s Reference Desk Lesson Plan.

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