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Seasons. What do you KNOW about seasons?. The Big Idea. Students will understand how Earth’s tilt on its axis changes the length of daylight and creates the seasons. Objective 1: Describe the relationship between the tilt of Earth\'s axis and its yearly orbit around the sun.

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the big idea
The Big Idea
  • Students will understand how Earth’s tilt on its axis changes the length of daylight and creates the seasons.
Objective 1: Describe the relationship between the tilt of Earth\'s axis and its yearly orbit around the sun.
  • Describe the yearly revolution (orbit) of Earth around the sun.
  • Explain that Earth\'s axis is tilted relative to its yearly orbit around the sun.
  • Investigate the relationship between the amount of heat absorbed and the angle to the light source.
Objective 2: Explain how the relationship between the tilt of Earth\'s axis and its yearly orbit around the sun produces the seasons.
  • Compare Earth’s position in relationship to the sun during each season.
  • Compare the hours of daylight and illustrate the angle that the sun\'s rays strikes the surface of Earth during summer, fall, winter, and spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Use collected data to compare patterns relating to seasonal daylight changes.
  • Use a drawing and/or model to explain that changes in the angle at which light from the sun strikes Earth, and the length of daylight, determine seasonal differences in the amount of energy received.
  • Use a model to explain why the seasons are reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

A regular change in temperature that repeats itself every year

words to know
Words to know:

Axis - imaginary line around which Earth spins, causing day and night, and that is drawn from the north geographic pole through Earth to the south geographic pole

words to know1
Words to know:

Rotation - spinning of Earth on its axis, which causes day and night; it takes 24 hours for Earth to complete one rotation

words to know2
Words to know:

Revolution - the motion of Earth around the Sun, which takes about 365 1/4 days, or one year, to complete

words to know3
Words to know:

Orbit - curved path followed by Earth as it moves around the Sun


the earth s tilt
The Earth’s Tilt

The Earth\'s axis is tilted by 23.5°

This means that, during part of the year, the northern part of the Earth will lean more directly to the sun, and during other parts of the year the southern part of the Earth will.
The part of the Earth that is directly facing the sun changes with the time of the year.
The northern half faces the sun for a while, then moves south of the equator, only to move back to the north again.
When the northern hemisphere is leaning toward the sun, the rays coming from it hit this part of the Earth at a larger angle than on other parts of the world.
This means that the same amount of light is distributed over a smaller surface, and so these places receive more heat than the others.
The energy that hits the Earth by the Sun changes over the year. 

The angle the Sun is above the horizon determines how much heat and light strike each square meter of ground.

In the winter the Sun\'s energy is weakened because the Sun\'s ray strike the ground rather indirectly as compared to the summer months when the Sun\'s rays strike the ground more directly.

This means that the ground receives more energy (more heat) per square meter in the summer than in the winter. 

More energy is received by the ground during the summer (high temperatures) and less energy during the winter (lower temperatures).

Go to this Website for Instructions on assignment #3

seasons i m spinning and i can t stop
Seasons - I\'m Spinning and I Can\'t Stop!

Activity #4

Please click on the link below

activity 5 worksheet
Activity #5 Worksheet
  • Sunrise, Sunset
activity 6 worksheet
Activity #6 Worksheet
  • Changing Shadows
  • The seasons are the result of this tilt of the Earth\'s axis.
  • If the tilt of the Earth\'s axis was 0° there would be no difference in how the rays from the sun hit its different regions, and there would be no seasons.
The Earth\'s seasons are not caused by the differences in the distance from the Sun throughout the year.
the seasons are the result of the tilt of the earth s axis
The seasons are the result of the tilt of the Earth\'s axis.

I know this is a repeat, but it is important that you understand this idea. Many Americans, including Harvard graduates, do not know what causes seasons!

review look closely at where the sun is hitting the earth during each season
ReviewLook closely at where the Sun is hitting the Earth during each season:



Imagine Earth as it revolves around the sun. The table below shows Earth at opposite sides of the sun. These two examples represent Earth\'s position for summer and winter.

Example A

Example B

congratulations we have finished this unit
Congratulations we have finished this Unit
  • Make sure you study for the test using the study guide