Top 10 Most Popular Science Topics in January

With the first month of 2018 wrapping up, let’s check out the top 10 most popular science topics on the Legends of Learning site in January:

1. Effects of Temperature and Pressure on State

An ice skating rink shows the effects of temperature and pressure on state, freezing water into ice.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): A substance’s state of matter is an extrinsic property, meaning it can be changed by its environment. Physical conditions like temperature and pressure affect state of matter. Both temperature and pressure can be measured, and state changes can be observed.

2. Atoms and Elements

The periodic table holds all of the atoms and elements.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games + 1 PhET simulation): Everything in the universe is made up of atoms. Atoms are the smallest units of matter, and the different types of atoms make up different elements. They can exist on their own, or bonded together in molecules.

3. Parts of the Cell

Learn about cell structure with parts of the cell science games.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Cells contain specialized structures, called organelles, that perform specific functions. Prokaryotic cells, like bacteria, do not have many organelles, while eukaryotic cells have defined organelles. All cells have a semi-permeable cell membrane that lets them absorb nutrients and get rid of waste. Nuclei, mitochondria, ribosomes, rough and smooth ER, the Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes are all covered!

4. The Sun, Moon, and Stars: Patterns of Apparent Motion

Due to Earth's rotation, the sun, moon, and stars appear in different places in the sky each day. Here, the apparent motion of the stars results in a unique glow across the night sky.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): From day to day, the sun and stars will not appear in the exact same part of the sky due to the Earth’s revolution around the sun. These patterns of apparent motion allow us to predict where the Sun, Moon, and stars are at any given time, using drawings, 3D models, and computer models.

5. Role of Sunlight and Gravity in the Water Cycle

Waterfalls and the role of sunlight and gravity in the water cycle.
 

Summary of concepts covered (8 games): On Earth, water can exist as a liquid, a solid (ice), or a gas (water vapor). It changes between these states of matter when it gains or loses energy. In the water cycle, this energy comes from sunlight. While sunlight is the energy source, the greatest force propelling the water cycle is gravity. Gravity is the force of attraction between two objects, and Earth’s gravity pulls matter downward, toward its center. It pulls precipitation down from clouds and pulls water downhill.

6. Conservation of Matter in Chemical Reactions

In chemical reactions, there is a conservation of matter.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): During a chemical reaction, atoms are rearranged, but they are not created or destroyed. The substances entering the reaction are called reactants, and the resulting substances, with new chemical formulas, are called products.

7. Temperature, Thermal Energy, and Particle Motion

Water particle motion changes from liquid to gas as a result of changing thermal energy.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Temperature measures the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance. Thermal energy measures the total kinetic energy of the particles in a substance. The greater the motion of particles, the higher a substance’s temperature and thermal energy.

8. Weathering and Erosion

Weathering and erosion are the main culprits for forming beautiful canyons.
 

Summary of concepts covered (9 games): Aside from plate tectonics, moving water (including ice) causes the most significant change to the earth’s surface. Weathering (including physical and chemical) is the process of breaking down rock that is not moving. Erosion is when water actually transports rock and sediment from one place to another.

9. Sound Waves

Sound waves are longitudinal mechanical waves that can travel through solids, liquids, or gases.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): Waves are disturbances that transfer energy from one place to another. Sound waves are a type of mechanical, longitudinal wave. Longitudinal waves cause matter to contract and expand, known as compression and rarefaction. Matter vibrates as sound passes through it.

10. Gene Mutations

Albino snakes have gene mutations in its DNA.
 

Summary of concepts covered (10 games): DNA contains the genetic blueprint of all living things. It comes in double helix-shaped strands, which look like twisted ladders. The ladders’ rungs are made up of two kinds of nucleotide pairs: adenine and thymine, and cytosine and guanine. During cell division, DNA replicates itself, but it sometimes makes errors. Most of these errors are fixed during the process, but the ones that aren’t may become gene mutations.

What will be the top 10 in February? Sign in and play to have your say!

Grades 3-5 Science Games Coming This February

After launching 800 science games for grades 6-8, we heard from numerous educators requesting games for younger grade levels. Ten months later, elementary school teachers can now sign up for first access to Legends of Learning’s new grades 3-5 offering!

Here are the details:

* More than 300 titles
* 56 lessons covered
* Topics span Earth and Space, Life, and Physical Science, including the scientific method
* Based on the NGSS curriculum
* Select state standards coming, including GSE, SOL, and TEKS
* Designed for grades 3-5 with accessibility for select 2nd graders
* Works in tandem with existing suite for grades 6-8

Early Access to Grades 3-5 Games

As with grades 6-8, an elementary teacher’s Legends of Learning account is free with no financial obligations. Just sign up to be notified when the product goes live, then create your account and go.

Be one of the first teachers to access Legends of Learning’s elementary school suite, and help shape the future of science game-based learning for grades 3-5.

Sign up here.

8 Content Review Tips and Resource Articles

Are you looking for content review tips? As the world of standardized testing increases its focus on science (hello ACTs), teachers invest more class time on test preparation. Review can be one of the most mundane tasks your class engages in, boring both your students and you, the educator.

That’s why many teachers are looking for content review tips that make test prep fun and meaningful. In fact, many teachers use Legends of Learning’s thousands of games and assessment items for test prep. However, students often need more than one tool to help them lock in and review content day after day.

To help you in your efforts, check out these seven articles filled with tips and tools to strengthen your test prep/content review. Links are in the headlines:

1) Reviving Reviews: Refreshing Ideas Students Can’t Resist – Education World

Looking to end indifference this article asks? Then build a game for your classroom, which of course makes this article our favorite! Education World then links to five resources for teachers to download and use for in class content review.

2) Build Confidence – Edutopia

Did you know that teachers spend as much as 20-50 percent of their class time on test preparation? This article focuses on how to mix up your content review to make that time more useful. Our favorite tip is the last one: Using test preparation to build student confidence.

3) Spaced Learning – Harvard Magazine

You know it’s serious when Harvard is touting a technique. This article details how repeating content over an extended period of time significantly improves learning over the traditional “cram and test” model. Studies show an increase in knowledge by up to 50 percent, and strengthen retention for up to two years. It does take planning your test prep over a period of months instead of a week, but you would improve students’ subject mastery.

4) Turn Review into Play – Edutopia

Legends of Learning games in class.
Games can make test prep more enjoyable. Improve your classroom with game-based learning and other content review tips. - Gulfport Middle School, MS

Want to stop boring the snot out of kids with your test prep? Make it fun and turn exercises into play. We might have a few games for that (Sorry, we couldn’t resist).

5) Five Ways to Make Test Prep Meaningful and Fun – Kathleen Kryza

Don’t miss this article. Besides the usual fun exercises, Kathleen has one very unique tip: Examine your own feelings about the test. If you’re not thrilled about the exam or your class’s potential performance, then you are probably broadcasting negative vibes.

6) Fun In-Class Activities – Apperson

This edtech vendor blog has some great ideas to get students interacting in class during content review. From Jeopardy to a friendly game of Jenga, find fun ways to switch up your test prep.

7) Top 12 Ways to Rev Up Classroom Review Strategies – TeachHub

This is another list article filled with fun ways to mix up content review in class. What caught our eye was letting students serve as teachers and graders. How about a little role reversal to get students engaged?

8) Make Test Prep Meaningful! – Corkboard

This blog post has a singular focus: Have students create their own quizzes. This student-centered activity helps kids master their content while engaging in an authentic, meaningful exercise that has real purpose.

Do you have additional content review tips you would suggest? If so, please add them in the comments section.

7 Go-To Sites for Discovering Science Resources

Teachers are constantly searching for new science resources and content to diversify their lessons and engage students. Surfing the Internet is a great way to find what you’re looking for, but the Internet is a big place. That’s why some teachers spend as much as five to seven hours a week browsing for content.

If you are looking for more than games, jumpstart your search here. These seven sites can help make it a little narrower.

1) Share My Lesson

Share My Lesson is a fantastic database of science resources, featuring lessons from early childhood through high school. As the name implies, teachers log on and share their own lessons and resources. To date, those total more than 420,000, including more than 11,000 for middle school science alone! They’re all free, and searchable by grade and standards.

2) Teachers Pay Teachers

You’ve probably heard of Teachers Pay Teachers by now. Much like Share My Lesson, TpT hosts lessons crowdsourced from educators. Boasting an even bigger library of more than 2.8m resources, some free and some paid, it’s a fantastic tool for bringing together the genius of teachers everywhere. When you’re searching, you can sort by grade, subject, resource type, and price, or check out the trending topics on their homepage.

Teachers Pay Teachers hosts science resources for teachers everywhere.

3) University of Cincinnati Libraries

The UC Libraries STEM Education page links to a bunch of juicy STEM content across the web. These include science websites, lesson plan libraries, student research databases, educational videos, curriculum resources, and much more. Dig in to this wealth of material, vetted by a major research university.

4) Getting Smart “Smart Lists”

If you don’t know Getting Smart, you should. They publish articles about every education topic from policy to personalized learning. Their “Smart Lists” blog series features resource lists with different themes every month. Find lists of education blogs & newsletters, parent resources & homework help, music & art, and more. Start by checking out this STEM & Maker Resources list from September.

Getting Smart hosts tons of science content, including Smart Lists which feature great science resources.

5) Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas is a British site that lists an eye-popping amount of resources for teachers. Along with science, teachers can find inspiration for English, “maths” 😉 , computing, art, music, history, PE, you name it — so go ahead and share it with your non-science colleagues! If you’re looking for lesson plans, projects, videos, games, it’s all here, with a search functionality and many levels of filtering.

6) Tes

Tes is an education giant, claiming “the world’s largest online community of teachers” with almost 8 million registered users. Like Share My Lesson and TpT, Tes hosts a marketplace where teachers can share all kinds of resources, free and paid, from pre-K through high school. Their marketplace also features a bunch of discussion forums, as well as resources for exploring the teacher job market (focused on the UK). They also publish a magazine, and publish tons of education-related news. Talk about a go-to education site!

Tes has thousands of science resources, from lesson plans to news articles.

7) Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Out of the University of British Columbia, CWSEI mainly focuses on research related to science pedagogy in higher education. However, their site lists a wide variety of resources, including tools that can be used in the classroom, but also a plethora of reference books and articles for everything you want to learn about education. The Initiative’s stated goal is to build “a more scientifically literate populace… able to make wise decisions, informed by scientific understanding, about other complex issues” — a mission we can all get behind!

If you’re looking for new science resources, this list is a good place to start. These websites complement the depth and breadth of the thousands of science games and assessment items teachers find on the Legends of Learning platform.

Test Prep Webinar:
How Richard White
Makes the Most of Science Games

On November 29, STEM Certified leader Richard White delivered a Legends of Learning test prep webinar. Richard is a teacher leader at Griffin Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia, where he has worked for the past 6 years.

With December quickly approaching, many teachers will enter a review period for end-of-year testing. Richard’s webinar provides helpful tips for Legends of Learning teachers to use games for test prep as well as for enrichment, and offers tactics to deploy science games as an engagement technique for distracted students.

View Richard’s test prep webinar and associated PowerPoint presentation below:

Test Prep Webinar Video

Link to the full video of Richard White's Legends of Learning test prep webinar.

Test Prep PowerPoint Presentation

Link to the PowerPoint presentation recapping Richard White's Legends of Learning test prep webinar.

About Richard White

Test prep webinar host Richard White and his family.

Richard is passionate about teaching and learning, and believes that there is some way to reach every student that he encounters. He has presented professionally at several local conferences, and is responsible for helping to train new teachers at Griffin. Richard joined the Legends of Learning platform in November of last year as an ambassador, and began testing games with his students as soon as they were rolled out. He has also presented on LoL at local conferences.

Young STEM Visionaries Share their Inspiration

This November’s STEM Visions Contest featured submissions from teachers across the country, from California to Oklahoma to Massachusetts. All of the entries demonstrated how much these legendary science teachers inspire their students on a daily basis.

The contest was an overarching STEM activity for students. Teachers launched playlists of Legends of Learning science games in class, then asked how students could see themselves pursuing a career in STEM fields. Entries were posted on Facebook (and some on Google Docs).

Students wowed us with their visions for the future. The most popular ideas for future STEM careers were in the fields of veterinary science, astronomy, marine biology, and engineering.

The Winners

With so many thoughtful, creative entries, it was difficult to select the winners. Ultimately, after much deliberation, we had a winning submission: Kimberly King from Green Fields School (Tucson, AZ)! Kimberly submitted 21 students’ STEM visions, showcasing an impressive array of ideas they have for how to impact the world in their future careers. View her entire album of submissions here.

 

For winning the contest, Kimberly will receive a $1000 grant on DonorsChoose.org, along with a full-year license for her school to use Legends of Learning!

Four more of the most impressive submissions were selected as runners-up. View their submissions by clicking the links below:

Veronica Hennessey, Simonds Elementary (San José, CA)
Joy Johnson, Lewis and Clarke Middle School (Jefferson City, MO)
Denise Galiano, Cedar Hill Preparatory School (Somerset,NJ)
Scott Beiter, Rensselaer Middle School (Rensselaer, NY)

Congratulations to our winner, Kimberly, our runners-up, Veronica, Joy, Denise, and Scott, and all of the amazing educators who entered the contest! More importantly, thank you to all of these teachers for investing in the future by inspiring their students every single day.

Legends of Learning On Instagram and Pinterest

Many of our ambassadors and friends in the education community have followed Legends of Learning on Facebook and Twitter over the past year, but complained about our lack of presence on Instagram and Pinterest. Well, those days are over!!!

You can now follow us on Instagram and Pinterest, too!

Our Instagram page will feature photo spotlights of our ambassadors, LoL staff, industry events, and case studies, as well as highlighting each of our 90 middle school science learning objectives and updates about our gaming platform.

We will also “regram” legendary posts from our followers, and may even give some teacher ambassadors the opportunity to temporarily take over the page!

On Pinterest, we have boards for Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, Life Science, as well as special topics like NGSS, last month’s total solar eclipse, and awesome inspiration from teachers.

Teachers are some of the best users on Pinterest, “pinning” everything from science labs to art projects to actual bulletin boards. The site provides an easy way to bookmark and spread bright ideas, improving classrooms everywhere.

We are excited to grow our engagement with the education community! The internet is an incredible asset, with the power to not only host resources like Legends of Learning games, but also to share valuable insights and ideas so teachers and students can reap the benefits. Join us in our mission to spread the best of education.

Follow Legends of Learning:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LegendsofLearning/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/legendlearning
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/legendsoflearning/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/legendsoflearning/

Implementing NGSS in the Classroom

Since states began deploying Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards seven years ago, 18 states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards in full. Now many schools and teachers are just beginning their NGSS journey. Finding actual curriculum and content challenges implementation.

The NGSS standards seek to create engagement in the classroom. With the NGSS teachers make science learning an active exercise, but finding engaging NGSS content and exercises to achieve that? Now that’s a challenge.

Many teachers visit Legends of Learning for its NGSS content. There are few wide ranging series of content and lesson items for the entire NGSS suite, much less the entire middle school suite (Earth and Space, Life, and Physical sciences). Others are looking for more depth to help students get a grasp of the content.

“For me, the hardest part of implementing NGSS has been that at times I feel like the standards ‘gloss over’ certain topics, then dive straight into others in a lot of detail,” said April T., a Legends of Learning Ambassador. “Sometimes when I feel like if I follow the standards as they are written (with the instructional boundaries/limits), that my students might not have the background they need to learn new material later in the year or in the next grade level.”

Implementation Requires Science, Engineering, and Crosscutting Techniques

While there is great content built off of the NGSS DCI content system available, there is still a wide range of activities that teachers need to take on. Successful implementation requires a multidimensional approach to teaching to be the norm in every science classroom. This requires extending beyond the traditional content first approach. Now teachers must focus on science and engineering practices (SEP) and crosscutting concepts (CCC) requires different ways of thinking, lesson planning, and daily instruction.

In the case of SEP, teachers need to implement exercises that help students embrace the principles of scientific inquiry. On the engineering side, teachers challenge students to define a problem and resolve it via a solution. Other principles involved in NGSS’s view of SEP, include:

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

About Those Cross-Cutting Concepts

Though more intuitive, CCC teaching challenges educators in different ways. Traditionally, teachers give lessons in an isolated, linear fashion. NGSS assumes that various aspects of science and its topics cut across lessons.

For example, one might learn that seeds germinate and produce plants (Life Science), but weather and climate changes may create new challenges that prevent the plant from successfully growing.

NGSS recommends teachers make sure that students understand the following crosscutting concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Systems and System Models
  • Energy and Matter
  • structure and Function
  • Stability and Change

“There is a big push to make sure that our students are becoming comfortable identifying and explaining the SEPs and CCC’s that are being presented in our different units and activities,” added April T. “We were given 1/2 day PD time this year to plan with our grade level cohort (or as a department, schools go to determine how they wanted to use their time). We came up with an activity or a system (it was pretty open ended) to make sure the SEPs and CCCs are being embedded into our instruction.”

NGSS challenges teachers to create lessons that address all three principles; DCI, SEP, and CCC. Many teachers actively seek out the resources and getting the training to succeed. To help, our next blog in our series will offer a series of content and lesson plan resources to help teachers bring the new standards to the classroom.

16 Ways to Study the Total Solar Eclipse in Your Classroom

On August 21, 2017, we’ll see something the country has not seen in 38 years: a total solar eclipse. The day will excite students and science teachers alike. The below resources introduce students to eclipses, both lunar and solar, and prepare them for the solar eclipse.

These 16 resources compliment the Legends of Learning series of eclipse games and lesson plan that can be found in the Eclipses and Seasons Learning Objective.  Legends of Learning published a lesson plan for this Learning Objective, too, and on July 10 will offer two of its games — “Walter’s Travels” and “Bubble Eclipse” — publicly on its Alpha Games page as a public service.

Websites

 

Interactive Media

  • Eclipse2017.org App. Go mobile with the Eclipse2017 app. With it, students will learn about eclipses and how to find the best location to watch “totality” occur. (Available on iOS and Android)
  • Eclipses and Seasons. Encourage engagement and solidify learning objectives with Legends of Learning’s seven games about eclipses and seasons. If wishing to cross into other science subjects, look at the “The Sun, Moon, and Stars: Patterns of Apparent Motion” games, as well as “Our Solar System.”
  • JavaScript Solar Eclipse Explorer. Eclipses are historical events, and this web-based calculator provides data not only on past eclipses but also future ones.
  • NASA’s Extremely Accurate Map for August’s Total Solar Eclipse. Use this tool to combine geography and science. Students can use the tool to identify the best states for solar-eclipse watching on August 21, 2017.
  • SpaceMath. Show students how mathematics applies to real-world scientific studies with this in-depth resource from NASA. The page features numerous math activities designed to present eclipses and astronomy in a “different light.”
  • THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE. With this resource, your classroom can watch the total solar eclipse in real time. Discover’s Science Channel will cover the eclipse as it happens, then follow up with a one-hour special during primetime.
  • Total Solar Eclipse Animation. Prepare students for the eclipse launch date with PBS NOVA’s animation. For additional classroom resources, check out PBS’ toolkit, webinar, and videos.

Classroom Activities

  • Build a Sun Funnel. Spend the first few weeks of August with a collaborative science project, the Sun Funnel. While inexpensive, the funnel takes some time and expertise to build, so you may want to practice building one at home before introducing the project to the classroom. For simpler versions of the concept, consider using the Exploratorium’s instructions for building a pinhole camera from a UPS shipping container or SPACE’s shoebox concept.
  • Create an Eclipse in the Classroom. Styrofoam and cardboard possess magical properties, becoming anything from molecules and atoms to planetary systems. Follow the guide to help students create Earth-Moon-Sun systems and explore how solar and lunar eclipses work.
  • Exploring the Solar System: Solar Eclipse. This instructional tool uses an inflatable Earth to teach students three curriculum-based learning objectives. Provided by the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network, the tool includes resources for English- and Spanish-speaking students.
  • How to Film or Photograph the 2017 Solar Eclipse Like a Pro. Unite the arts and sciences with SPACE’s instructions on how to film or photograph the solar eclipse. Warning: This resource features some advanced photography and film techniques, so you’ll either want to use it with advanced photography students or adapt the methods to your particular classroom.
  • Yardstick Eclipse Activity. This classroom activity from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) caters to the older crowd that may be less than pleased with cardboard and Styrofoam projects. You can create the activity from scratch or purchase a pre-made kit for $35.00.

Other Resources

 

Have you taught about lunar and solar eclipses before? What are your favorite lesson plans, activities, or resources? Share your thoughts in the comments or start a thread in the community forum.

Lesson Plan: Eclipses and Seasons

On August 21, 2017, we’ll see something the country has not seen in 38 years: a total solar eclipse. The day will be an exciting one for students and science teachers, alike. Let’s make it educational, too.

People across the country are looking forward to watching the sun completely disappear behind the moon. The total solar eclipse will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina, an extremely rare event that for some locations on earth may occur as infrequently as every 1,000 years!

Legends of Learning has developed a lesson plan for the Eclipses and Seasons Learning Objective that you can use with your students. With it, we’re offering two of our games — “Walter’s Travels” and “Bubble Eclipse” — publicly on our Alpha Games page.

Complete with digital edgames playlists, assessment questions, and a visual eclipse simulation, our lesson plan has everything your students need to learn about this rare phenomenon. Check it out below, or download the PDF version!

 

Learning Objective: Eclipses and Seasons

NGSS Standard DCI: MS-ESS1.B-2. – This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon. Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short-term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year.

Objective:

Students will be able to:

  1. Explain why solar and lunar eclipses occur
  2. Explain why Earth has seasons
  3. Draw and manipulate models of solar and lunar eclipses
  4. Draw a model of Earth’s location during various seasons

Time Required: 75 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Small beach ball (or other similar sized ball)
  • Ping pong ball tied to a string
  • Flashlight
  • Teacher computer with internet access
  • Projector/Smartboard
  • 1 computer/laptop/iPad per student with internet access
  • Eclipses and Seasons handout (attached)

Teacher Preparation:

  • Create Playlist 1, a 30-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with the following games found in the Eclipses and Seasons learning objective (in order):
  1. Science Fair: Eclipse and Seasons
  2. Volleclipse

  • Create Playlist 2, a 10-minute playlist in Legends of Learning with 5 assessment questions from the Eclipses and Seasons learning objective
  • Make copies of Eclipses and Seasons Worksheet (1 per student)

Engage (10 minutes):

Lay the flashlight on a table and place the beach ball approximately 24 inches in front of the flashlight.

Turn off the lights in the room and turn on the flashlight.

Holding the ping pong ball by the string, place the ping pong ball between the flashlight and the beach ball.

Ask for student observations regarding where they see the light hitting the beach ball and where they see shadow.

  • Answer: Light hitting the ping pong ball and beach ball. Small shadow on front of beach ball as well.

Continue holding the ping pong ball by the string, move the ping pong ball so that it is behind the beach ball.

Ask for student observations regarding where they see the light and shadow in this position.

  • Answer: Light hitting the beach ball fully, no shadow on the beach ball. Full shadow on the ping pong ball.

Explain to students: “I just demonstrated a phenomenon called an eclipse. Today we will learn about types of eclipses and also review why we have seasons. Think about this demonstration during today’s lesson as we will refer back to it at the end of class.”

Explore (30 minutes):

  • Have your students sign in to Legends of Learning and enter your teacher code.
  • Launch Playlist 1 to your students.
  • As students complete Science Fair: Eclipse and Seasons, students should fill out the Eclipses and Seasons Handout.
  • Assist students as needed during game play, pause playlist if you need to address content or questions to entire class.

Explain (20 minutes):

  • Review answers to Eclipses and Seasons Handout by drawing diagrams on board or using Smartboard.
  • Relate student knowledge to demonstration at the beginning of class.
    • Which item represents the sun? (flashlight)
    • Which item represents the earth? (beach ball)
    • Which item represents the moon? (ping pong ball)
    • Who can demonstrate a lunar eclipse using the items? (ping pong ball held behind the beach ball)
      1. Have student explain why
    • Who can demonstrate a solar eclipse using the items? (ping pong ball held between the flashlight and beach ball)
      1. Have student explain why

Elaborate (5 minutes):

  • Explain to students that although they experience seasons all the time, they are less likely to experience a lunar eclipse, and the opportunity to experience a solar eclipse is even more rare.
  • Show this timelapse video of what happens on Earth during a solar eclipse: https://vimeo.com/53641212
  • Ask students to describe what they are seeing in the video.
    • Answer: It is broad daylight then goes dark like nighttime, then back to broad daylight very quickly. The sun is completely blocked out for a while.

Evaluate (10 minutes):

  • Launch Playlist 2 to your students. When they finish the assessment questions, any time left is freeplay.
  • Analyze student results to determine what concepts need to be a focus for reteaching.

Seasons and Eclipses – Worksheet

Name: _________________________________

Directions: While playing the first game in Legends of Learning called Science Fair: Eclipse and Seasons, use what you learn to complete the diagrams and answer the questions below.

 

Seasons

Label the seasons in the Northern and Southern hemisphere at each location.

Circle the correct answer –

Question 1: It is summer for the hemisphere that is pointing (away from, towards) the sun.

Question 2: It is winter for the hemisphere that is pointing (away from, towards) the sun.

Question 3: When a hemisphere is pointing towards the sun, the sun’s rays are (stronger, weaker) on that part of earth, making it (hotter, colder).

Question 4: When a hemisphere is pointing away from the sun, the sun’s rays are (stronger, weaker) on that part of earth, making it (hotter, colder).

 

Draw the location of the sun, moon, and earth during a lunar eclipse and during a solar eclipse. MAKE SURE YOU LABEL THE SUN, MOON, AND EARTH!

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