Beacon Lesson Plan Library
As the Earth Turns
Bay District Schools
Why do the Sun and Moon seem to disappear and reappear making day and night? This lesson demonstrates the rotation of the Earth.
The student estimates and measures the passage of time using before or after; yesterday, today, or tomorrow; day or night; morning, afternoon, or evening; hour or half-hour.
The student knows appropriate tools (clocks and calendar) for measuring time (including days, weeks, months).
The student knows that night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth.
The student knows and differentiates objects seen in the day and night sky (for example, clouds, Sun, stars, Moon, planets).
-Lamp without a shade
-Suggested book, [My World Night and Day], Alvin Granowsky, Aladdin Books Ltd 2001
-Paper plates (enough for each student)
-Red construction paper (half of a 9x13 sheet)
-Brads (enough for each student)
-My Book About Day and Night (see associated file)
-Checklist for My Book About Day and Night -Earth clocks (from day 11)
-My Book About Day and Night completed
-Summative Two Assessment (see Extensions)
-Pencils (for every student)
-Books used for this unit
1. Gather red construction paper (half a sheet for each student) and brads.
2. Cut out a big clock hand and little clock hand out of red construction paper (one set per student). Use a clock-hand die-cut if one is available. Go ahead and push the brad through the construction paper, so they are together and ready to go on the clocks.
3. Write clock numbers on paper plates with a black marker.
4. Make an Earth clock to show as an example.
5. Gather suggested book, [My World Night and Day] (or any other book on rotation of the Earth and time.
1. Gather materials: flashlight, globe, and tape.
2. Download and duplicate My Book About Day and Night for each student. Also make copies of the checklist for students.
3. Download the boy figure and cut it out.
4. Have Earth clocks ready to hand out for practice at the beginning of the lesson.
1. Have books My Book About Day and Night out ready for students to read.
2. Have a special chair ready for students to read their books from.
1. Duplicate the summative two assessment for each student.
2. Display all the books and poems for this unit.
Day 11 of the Eye on the Sky unit
*Remember to mention the Night watcher’s Club. Make sure students are watching the night sky and recording findings in their journals.
**Note: Review the summative assessment results with students.
1. Call students to circle time. Show them the top spinning. Ask: What do you think this has to do with night and day? What happens to make day time and night time? (Accept reasonable answers) Tell them in today’s lesson we will find out about rotation of the Earth. Rotation means to turn or spin. The Earth, the planet we live on, is spinning like this top.
2. Introduce the book [My World Night and Day]. Tell students to listen for words that measure time and tell about day and night. Read and discuss pages 2-24, but skip page 22 (because that pages shows and tells about all the time words). When the story is complete, ask students to tell you the words they heard about measuring time. List them on a chart. Be sure to discuss these words and relate them to activities the students do: dawn, Sunrise, morning, day, noon, afternoon, Sunset, evening, dusk, night, bedtime, and midnight. Also talk about yesterday, today and tomorrow and how they also measure time. Then relate that concept to rotation of the Earth and day and night.
3. Tell students they are going to find out what day and night have to do with rotation. Set the lamp in the middle of the group. Have the students stand in a circle around the lamp facing the light. Tell the students to pretend the lamp is the Sun and their body is the Earth. Ask: Can you see the Sun now? Is it day or night?
4. Have students spin their bodies to the right so that they can't see the Sun anymore. Is it day or night now?
(As you go through the following activity, attempt to use this language. Before/After, yesterday/today/tomorrow, day/night, afternoon/evening.)
5. Ask the students to spin to their right slowly so that they can just start to see the Sun appearing on their right side. Say: It was just night time and now it is starting to be light again, what time of day is it? (Morning, dawn, or Sunrise) What kinds of activities do you do during this time?
6. Have students spin slowly again so that they are facing the Sun directly. Ask: What time of day is it? (noon, afternoon) What meal do you usually eat when the Sun is at its brightest in the middle of the day? (lunch)
7. Now spin slowly again to the right until the students can barely see the Sun on their left side. Ask: It was just bright outside and now it is beginning to get dark again. What time of day is it now? (evening, Sunset, or dusk) What type of activities do you do during this time?
8. Discuss how it takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate around one time. That equals one day and night. We know we can measure days on a calendar, but you can also measure it on clocks. Show the clock. Tell students clocks have two hands to measure hours and minutes. The large hand measures the hours and the little hand measure minutes. Tell them they are going to concentrate and learn hour and half-hour.
9. Demonstrate time to the hour. For example, the little hand is on the 3 and the big hand is on the 12. That means it is 3:00. When the big hand is on the 12, it always means on the hour or o’clock. That is why I said 3 o’clock. Remember the little hand tells the hour and the big hand tells the minute. Practice by doing several more showing 6:00, 8:00, and 10:00 etc.
10. Now demonstrate time to the half-hour. Put the little hand on the 2 and the big hand on the six. This is 2:30. When the big hand points to the 6, it is always half past the hour. Practice this concept, providing formative assessment feedback, with 12:30, 11:30, 4:30 etc.
11. Give students some mixed up hour and half-hour times to practice: 7:00, 9:30, 6:00, 1:00, 8:30 etc. relate those times to activities the students do. Practice estimating some times and then actually measuring them on a clock. For example:
* When do you get up in the morning? Around 7:00 (show that on the clock)
* What is in the sky then? (Sun, clouds, rainbows)
* Is that before or after lunch?
* What time is your dinner? Around 5:30 (show that on the clock.)
* Is that before or after you get home from school?
* When do we go to special area? At 12:30 (show that on the clock.)
* Tomorrow is _____ when will you go to sleep? About 9:00 (Show that on the clock)
* When you go to bed, what is in the sky? (Moon, stars, planets, constellations)
* Yesterday when did we get out of school? About 2:00 (show that on the clock)
12. Now make planet Earth clocks. Ask students if they have seen the bird clock that chirps, or the Christmas clock that plays music. Well, tell them they are going to make a specialty clock like those but one that represents planet Earth. We will call it the planet Earth clock.
* Hand out a paper plate to each student. Now have them decorate the plate like the Earth. Show them the numbers are already written on the plate. Show how a globe has water represented in blue and the land in brown. They are to decorate the clock/plate like that.
* When the students have finished decorating the plate like the Earth, have them attach the hands to the center of the clock. Have students tell you what the big hand and little hand represent before you give it to them.
* After it the clock is complete, have students practice showing time to the hour and half-hour. Put several times on the board and instruct them to do this after the clock is complete. Circulate and observe students showing hour and half-hour.
13. Make sure students' names are on their clocks and take them up for use in tomorrow’s lesson. Ask students to estimate how long until tomorrow. Ask them what happens to make tomorrow. (Night will follow day and that is rotation.) Have someone retell in his/her own words about rotation of Earth.
Day 12 of the Eye on the Sky unit
1. Call students to circle time. Ask them to think back to yesterday’s lesson on day and night and the rotation of the Earth. Ask how many hours are in day? Do you use a clock or a calendar to measure time? Ask for an explanation of both. Review time to the hour and half-hour using the big and little hand.
2. Hand out the student’s Earth clocks. Tell students we are going to practice estimating several times things we do during the day and night and then actually measure them on our Earth clocks.
* What time do you get dressed in the morning? (Make sure everyone estimates, and then measures it on their clock)
* Do you get dressed before or after dinner?
* What time does your favorite TV show come on?
* What time do we go to break?
* When do you brush your teeth?
* When do you go to bed?
* What time do you go to activities like baseball, dance, or church? (For those students who don’t have those kinds of activities have them pretend.)
* About what time do you do your homework?
* Is that day or night?
(Observe students practicing time to the hour and half-hour. Note those using half-hours and bring it to the groups’ attention so everyone does it.) Take up Earth clocks.
3. Tell students as the Earth turns, the Sun appears and disappears making day and night while you do all those activities we just talked about. Let’s demonstrate the rotation of the Earth making day and night again today using a globe. Here is a boy. Tape him to Florida where we live. Place the globe six feet from the flashlight. Turn out the lights. Shine the flashlight on the boy. Tell students to follow the boy on the globe. Slowly rotate the globe to the right until a full circle has been made. This represents one day or 24 hours. Rotate the globe several more times, having students say “day” and “night” as the boy figure moves in and out of the light. Ask and formatively assess student responses to the following questions:
* What did you see when the boy figure was facing the light?
* What did you see when it was turned away from the light?
* What caused this to happen?
* How is this like what happens to us on Earth?
* How are day and night different?
4. Now assign students to make My Book About Day and Night. Go over the expectations together on the checklist. Pass out pages. Clarify questions and begin. Students are expected to complete the book independently and turn in for a formative assessment that checks understanding of the standard.
5. When the books are complete, take them up for the Day 13 activity that includes a review of the standards.
Day 13 of Eye on the Sky Unit
Author’s Chair- chair students sit in to share writings they have done. The audience gives positive feedback, encouragement, and ideas to the author.
1. Call students to circle time. Tell students you want to check their understanding of day, night, and rotation of Earth along with time to the hour and half hour before they take the summative assessment tomorrow. Have each student sit in the Author’s Chair and share My Book About Day and Night they made yesterday.
2. Tell students to look for time words, complete sentences, illustrations, and the hands drawn on the clock. Call on students to give positive comments only about the book each author reads. For example:
* I like the way your illustrations match your words.
* Wow! Your time words sound so good!
* You have complete sentences that are easy to understand.
Also ask students to comment on the content of each book. This provides an excellent opportunity for student led review.
3. Take a minute to chat about each book and correct any mistakes or misunderstandings students may have about rotation or time. Additionally, review concepts to date- effects of the Sun depending on the surface it strikes; amount of light reflected by the Moon is a little different each day but the Moon appears the same about every 28 days; tools for measuring time; and complete sentences.
4. Praise students for work well done and give a group clap for coming to the end of the unit.
A group clap goes like this:
5 claps, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
5 claps, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
3 claps, 1, 2, 3
3 claps, 1, 2, 3
5 claps, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
When the students have finished observing the Moon for a complete month (this should be about the time summative 2 is given) have them turn in the log sheets from the Night Watcher’s Club. Discuss them as a group. Bring out the concepts that the amount of light is different each day but it appears the same about every 28 days, and night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth.
1. Tell students we are about to end the adventure in the sky. Sing and recite all the poems and songs from this unit as a review. Discuss information gathered from the Night Watcher’s Club. Encourage students to continue observing the Moon and sky because now they are pros on the phases of the Moon, rotation of the Earth, what is in the day and night sky, and the Sun.
2. Hand out the Summative Two Assessment and go over directions. (See extensions.)
3. Celebrate the end of the Eye on the Sky unit by having a DEAR afternoon (Drop Everything And Read) with all the books that have become new friends while learning about the sky. Have students share with others something they learned and what they liked about a specific book they read.
Formatively assess that students know and differentiate objects seen in the day and night sky by observing students' answers in procedure #11. Specifically look for Sun, clouds, rainbows, and Moon, stars, planets, and constellations.
Formatively assess that students know that night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth by observing students' answers in procedure #13. Specifically listen for night follows day and that happens when the Earth turns.
Formatively assess that students estimate and measure the passage of time using before or after; yesterday, today, or tomorrow; day or night; morning, afternoon, or evening; hour or half-hour by observing answers in procedure #12.
Formatively assess that students estimate and measure the passage of time using before or after; yesterday, today, or tomorrow; day or night; morning, afternoon, or evening; hour or half-hour by observing answers in procedure #2 and #5. Use the checklist to assess the book.
Formatively assess that students know that night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth by observing students in procedure #3 and completed books in procedure #5. Use the checklist to assess the book.
Formatively assess that students estimate and measure the passage of time using before or after; yesterday, today, or tomorrow; day or night; morning, afternoon, or evening; hour or half-hour by listening to students orally read My Book About Day and Night. Use the checklist to assess the book.
Formatively assess that students know that night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth by listening to students orally read My Book About Day and Night. Use the checklist to assess the book.
Summatively assess unit standards.
1. Another way to model the Earth rotation is to use an orange and a pencil. Push the pencil through the center of the orange and turn the orange.
2. Another way to end the unit would be to play the Spaceship Game. Tell students they are aboard a spaceship in the sky going into space. Have them tell you as an expert what they know about the sky and space. Turn it into an alphabet game. Say: I am an expert in space and I know there is A for asteroids. Play until all students have had a chance or every letter of the alphabet is complete.
3. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page. (Or by using the URL http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2983.) Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Attached Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
Book and checklist
File Extension: pdf