Why do we have seasons?

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feb. 13 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's Get Started!

  1. Coat/Jacket - we will be outside some of today!
  2. SS
  3. Create a new entry in SS called "Seasons" and today is 2-13-2014
  4. Write your answer in your SS to this question: "Why do we have seasons?"

Building Our Background Knowledge:

Teams will use a computer interactive to build their background knowledge and create a vocabulary list of important terms and their meaning.

  1. Access Edmodo folder called "Seasons Climate & Weather"
  2. Select "Interactive: Earth in Motion"
  3. Work with the interactive and create a vocabulary list of key terms & what you think they mean.

After 10 minutes: We will share our new found knowledge!

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feb. 14 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please sit with your lab partner from yesterday! Open your SS to yesterday's lab!


Investigation: How the angle of sunlight strikes the Earth?

Problem Question:

How does the angle of sunlight striking the Earth vary?

Investigation Type? Descriptive, Comparative, Investigative



  • SS
  • Pencil
  • Masking Tape (2 Small Pieces)
  • Meter Stick
  • Protractor


  1. Go outside! Dress Appropriately!
  2. Record date & time.
  3. Person 1 stands with back to the Sun.
  4. Person 2 uses masking tape to mark the location of Person 1 heels
  5. Person 2 uses masking tape to make the location of Person 1 shadow
  6. Person 2 uses meter stick to measure height of Person 1. Record.
  7. Both persons measure length of shadow
  8. Draw a scale diagram of the data collected
  9. Use a protractor to measure the angle of incidence on the diagram
  10. Submit your team's result to Mrs. Lansford

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feb. 18 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please continue to sit with your lab partner & have your SS ready to go!


Modeling Sunlight Striking Earth


Let's think about how the direction of sunlight changes throughout the day....?

How does the angle of sunlight affect temperature, seasons...?


Investigation Analysis & Conclusion...


Seasonal Effects

  • What are some examples of seasonal changes in the environment?
  • Do all locations on Earth experience the same kinds of seasons?
  • How do seasonal changes affect plants & animals?
  • What kind of data could you gather if you wanted to study seasonal changes?

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feb. 19 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vocab. Refresher: Season, Climate & Weather

  • Season - one of 4 periods of the year (winter, spring, summer, fall) beginning astronomically with an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.

  • Climate - the average pattern for weather over a period of months, years, decades, or longer in a specific place.

  • Weather - describes the atmospheric conditions at a specific place at a specific point in time (hours, days, weeks).

From Modeling to Diagramming...

Let's transform the "Modeling Sunlight" activity into a diagram that includes the North Star, Sun, and Earth in the 4 positions. Make sure to label to seasons for each of your Earths and to show the tilt of the axis. (5-7 minutes)

What do you think?

  1. What would happen to the seasons if the tilt were less than 23.5 degrees?
  2. What would happen if it were greater than 23.5 degrees?
  3. How would the change in direction of Earth's axis affect what we call the North Star?
  4. How might the change in direction of Earth's axis affect the seasons?

* symbol means to click on the text.