I’m pretty sure the first time I taught students about why we have seasons, I wasn’t even sure why we had them. “You know, the Earth is tilted on its axis and it spins and uhhh… it goes around the sun. Then it’s not as sunny during winter and it’s sunny during summer. Right?” Lesson over.
Since that very faulty “lesson”, I’ve found some MUCH more effective resources. Here are 7.
1. Observe Globes
Dig through the closets, move the spiderwebs, and find some globes. Observe how Earth is tilted on its axis.
2. BrainPop for Seasons
Time and Moby provide a helpful explanation with video graphics.
3. Science Notebook Activity
This is an awesome notebook mini-lesson from my Winter Unit on TpT.
4. Read Aloud
I love doing a read aloud of The Reasons for the Seasons to provide a bit more info and discussion points for students.
5. Seasons Online Activity
Here is a computer-based activity where students can watch how the sun moves across the sky during different seasons, the change in temperature, Earth’s orbit, and sunlight angles. Just make sure the inclination angle is set to 23 degrees. Set the speed faster or slower and observe.
6. Informational Text
Integrate reading skills using this visual and text. I like how it shows the sun’s path from west to east at two different points in the year.
7. Solar System PowerPoint
This PowerPoint in my TpT Store goes over more than just why we have seasons, but is a fantastic, ready-to-use resource with differentiated student notes.
I hope your lesson about the seasons goes much better than my first lesson went!
Please tell me I’m not alone on something. I ALWAYS have to look at a diagram of the seasons or else I have the axis going the wrong way or backwards arrows or some crazy nonsense. #spatiallychallenged