The Earth-Sun relationship is an important dynamic for students to understand, and its importance is reflected in most middle grade state Science standards, as well as in the Next Generation Science Standards. A major component of understanding the Earth-Sun relationship is understanding how the tilt and revolution of the Earth cause seasons. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of why we have seasons by creating a diagram.
It is ideal if this assignment is presented to students after they have had experience with 3D models of the Earth-Sun relationship. In this assessment, students will demonstrate knowledge of why we have seasons by creating a 2D diagram of Earth in four positions (12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock) around the sun. They will draw the tilt of the earth, the revolution, and will label each seasons in each hemisphere according to its position around the sun and tilt of each axis. Detailed instructions and requirements are given in the rubric.
This can be given as a stand-alone assessment, as part of a larger assessment, or as a homework assignment. In the past, my 6th Graders have mounted their diagrams on construction paper and displayed them in the classroom and hallways.
Included in this product is the Next Generation standard that this pertains to, the objective, procedure, grading rubric, student checklist (details each requirement), and teacher tips.
I hope that you and your students are able to use this assignment to check for student understanding of why we have seasons, and I hope that it makes assessing this standard easier for you! All materials are ready for you to copy and pass out to students.
Have a wonderful day!
For a hands-on project about why we have seasons, you might like:
Hacked! Learning Why We Have Seasons By Changing the Earth-Sun Relationship