Patterns of Change Interactive Diagrams Activity:
Yearly, Monthly and Daily Cycles of Shadow Position, Shadow Length, Seasons, Sun’s Path Across Sky, Tides, and Moon Phases
Developed by: Marianne Dobrovolny – www.science-lessons.org
Suggested level: Elementary and Middle School
At the end of the activity the student will be able to:
o Describe patterns in moon phases, shadows throughout the day and year, tidal patterns throughout the day and month, yearly seasonal patterns, yearly shadow patterns and patterns in Sun path across the sky. (You can pick and choose which you want to use.)
o Understand that daily patterns such as the sun’s movement across the sky, high and low tide, and shadows are the result of the Earth rotating on its axis.
o Recognize that monthly patterns, such as phases in the moon, are the result of revolution of the moon around the earth every 29.5 days.
o Recognize that yearly patterns, such as seasons, are the result of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun and the Earth’s tilted axis.
o Recognize that there is a relationship between monthly tidal patterns and the lunar cycle/moon phases.
o Construct a model to represent patterns of change.
In this activity, students are given a daily, monthly or yearly timeline board as well as a set of cards depicting various daily, monthly and yearly patterns in the sky. The student must arrange the cards onto the timeline board forming the correct pattern that occurs during that time frame. This activity is designed to allow student to practice recognizing patterns in the sky and how those patterns relate to the rotation of the Earth on its axis, revolution of the Earth around the Sun, and the revolution of the Moon around the Earth. Although this activity was originally designed as a formative assessment activity, it could also be used to pre-assess or even as notes pages as you teach patterns. If you use it as you teach, you would have students cut and glue cards in the correct patterns as you teach. It is a very modifiable activity depending on your needs. For GT or very advanced students, you may want to give them this sorting activity without much pre-teach. I have also included two extra sort boards if you have more advanced students. This activity can easily be differentiated for the various levels of students by providing more or less information/instructions. You can also pick and choose the patterns that you want to work on. You may only be interested in doing daily patterns and not monthly patterns or yearly patterns with your students.
o Decide which boards you want to use for the activity
o Print enough boards on legal-sized paper for each group of 3 students to have one board (You may choose to print a set of boards for each group so they do not have to rotate boards.)
o Laminate the sets of boards (optional)
o Print a set of cards (in color if possible) for each group
o Laminate sets of cards (optional)
o Cut card sets and put in zip baggies
o Copy 1 “Make Your Predictions” handout per student
Note: These are instruction for rotating boards rather than each group having their own set of three boards. Modify based on your needs.
1. Provide each group with a set of cards.
2. Have students begin by sorting their cards into 3 groups: picture cards, red title cards and green cause cards.
3. Provide each group with a board.
4. Begin by placing the correct red title card(s) on the board in the red dotted box by determining which patterns are fit with the cycle of time given on the board. For example, if your board is the “Daily Cycles” board, then you would place the card that said “Daily Tidal Patterns” and “Daily Shadow Patterns” in the red dotted boxes.
5. Next, sort and sequence the correct picture cards into the correct pattern on the board. Remind them to pay attention to the timeline given.
6. Lastly, place the correct green cause-cards on the board in the green dotted box. Some green boxes will have more than one card.
7. Before clearing the boards and rotating them, ask each group to carefully observe what causes the daily, weekly, or monthly patterns they observing on their board.
8. Clear boards.
9. Rotate boards and repeat until all groups have seen each of the boards.
10. Have student complete the handout by drawing (or describing) what they predict would go in the box. Remind them to pay attention to the time. Note: I use this as an individual assessment after the activity. You may want them to complete the handout after they clear each board rather than waiting until the end.
Next Generation Science Standards
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System - The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year. (5-ESS1-2)
4.8C -The student knows that there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. !e student is expected to collect and analyze data to identify sequences and predict patterns of change in shadows, tides, seasons, and the observable appearance of the Moon over time.
5.8C (C) demonstrate that Earth rotates on its axis once approximately every 24 hours causing the day/night cycle and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky.
Grade 3 Earth Science
4b. Students know the way in which the Moon’s appearance changes during the four-week lunar cycle.
4e. Students know the position of the Sun in the sky changes during the course of the day and from season to season.
Intermediate - 1.1e Most objects in the solar system have a regular and predictable motion. These motions explain such phenomena as a day, a year, phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, meteor showers, and comets.
Earth Science - 1.1a Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. These motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, seasons, phases of the moon, eclipses, and tides.
© Marianne Dobrovolny - www.science-lessons.org
Earth & Space Patterns of Change Interactive Diagrams Activity
by Marianne Dobrovolny
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License