Lesson 1 - 2

Earth's rotation causes day and night

Lesson Overview

Earth's rotation causes day and night

Throughout this lesson series, students will be introduced to the rotation of the Earth on its axis, causing night and day, sunrise and sunset. Students will create diagrams to explain the rotational movement of the Earth. Students will investigate timescales relating to the Earth's rotation by making a sundial. Students will explore solar heat transfer and how heating can bring about phase changes in substances.

ACS Codes


Lesson Objectives

Students will:

  • Discuss how the Earth moves through rotation (and orbiting).
  • Explain the rotational movement of the Earth using a diagram.
  • Explain how the movement of the Earth creates night and day.
  • Explain how the Earth's movement creates shadows.
  • Measuring the time of day using a sundial.

Evidence of Learning

Can the student:

  • Explain how the Earth rotates (and orbits the Sun).
  • Draw a diagram to support their explanation.
  • Explain how the Earth's rotation causes day and night.
  • Make a sundial to measure the passing of time.

Example Learning Sequence

  • Discuss the Earth's rotation (and orbit).
  • Discuss how day and night occur on Earth.
  • Discuss how shadows are created and how they change.
  • Make a sundial and use it to measure time.