Ohio Resource Center
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Elementary Earth and Space Sciences: The Universe
 
While in elementary school students explore changing patterns of objects in the day and night sky, and the characteristics, cycles, and patterns involving the earth in the solar system.


   
Sky 1: Objects in the Sky (ORC#: 533)
Students investigate objects in the daytime and nighttime sky. Students then record their observations and make predictions about what objects will be in the sky on the next day. This is the first lesson in a four part series. See Sky2: Shadows and Sky 3: Modeling Shadows for parts 2 and 3. Adobe Acrobat reader required for student worksheets. (author/ts)


   
Moon Journal Activity (ORC#: 409)
A subsection of A Private Universe Project, this resource allows students to investigate the earth-moon system and motion of planetary bodies. Using a journal, teachers gain insight into the students' understanding and the learning process. Students record their predictions, observations, explanations, and questions about the things that puzzle them, and express amazement about the phenomena they witness. Teachers can use the journal as a tool for ascertaining the student's prior knowledge and understanding, identifying any alternative ideas a student might have. Professional and content resources are included, allowing the development of teacher understanding of the concepts.


   
Lunar Cycle Challenge (ORC#: 8164)
The primary component of this content resource is an online activity in which students "drag" moons to their correct places in lunar cycles. There are calendars that include illustrations of the phases of the moon for most days, and the challenge is for students to complete the calendars by filling them with the correct moon phases for all days. A child's voice narrates the activity, providing students with ongoing feedback and guidance (e.g., Well done! and Check for a pattern.). There are three levels in this Lunar Cycle Challenge, and after students successfully complete all three levels they can print out a certificate of completion. (author/ts)


   
Reasons for the Seasons (ORC#: 2637)
Students explore the relationship between the tilt of Earth's axis and its yearly orbit around the sun through this promising practice resource. In this activity students will learn how Earth's axis of rotation affects the angle of sunlight and the length of day. Students collect data by: 1-measuring the shadow of an object such as a flag pole at the same time of day over an extended period of time, 2-recording high and low temperatures on the days shadow observations are made, and 3-recording length of daylight for two days each month during the months shadow observations are made. Students then analyze the data by constructing graphs and comparing the similarities and differences of the three graphs.

This would be a very good lesson to incorporate into a larger unit on seasons. Since the data collection occurs over a long period of time the activities suggested here could be started at the beginning of the unit, carried out throughout the unit, and then be part of a culminating activity at the end of the unit. The lesson provides a link for weather information in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. The following links to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, Cleveland, Ohio (http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/cle/) and the National Weather Service Forecast Office, Wilmington, Ohio (http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/iln/) provide the same information for Ohio. (author/ts)