Solstice and Equinox Season Model

This Solstice and Equinox Season Model lesson plan also includes:

How can December 21 be the shortest day of the year when all days are 24 hours long? Pupils see how to build a model showing the differences between winter and summer solstices and equinoxes. Using this model, classes can then discuss the movement of the sun, seasons, changes in daylight, the movement of Earth, etc. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Place learners in groups of two to three and use this activity when discussing seasons
Classroom Considerations
  • The simple model would be best to build in class, as it contains materials that are cheap and easy to gather
  • Pupils need to have an understanding of how the sun appears to move across the sky throughout the year
  • Provides directions for a simple model made out of paper plates and a more complex model made out of wood
  • Includes background information on solstices and equinoxes
  • Does not provide questions for discussion or give ideas on how to use in class
Common Core