Have you noticed that Easter is scheduled on a different date every year, unlike, for example, Christmas? The calculation of the date of Easter is based on astronomy.
With this activity, your students will explore the cycles that dictate the dating of Easter. Comparisons are made between Easter and other religious holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan. The students will also explore the different types of calendars used for these holidays, calendars based on the moon, sun, or both.
The students will be able to create a chart of the dates of Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Ramadan for a twenty year span of time. The influences of the yearly cycle of earth's revolution, and the monthly cycle of the moon's revolution around the earth, create the patterns seen in the chart.
The lab includes a detailed introduction and questions to accompany the graph. Your students will create their graphs using colored pencils and the lab packet. The file includes a link to download and Excel sheet with the lab data and a graph that can be used as a demonstration.
If you are interested in teaching some of the history behind our calendars, and the specifics of differing faiths, then this lab will be a practical exercise to share with your students.