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Websites current as of July 1, 2017

This WebQuest covers the following Utah 6th Grade Science Standards:

Standard 6.1.1 Develop and use a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the Sun and Moon, and seasons. Examples of models could be physical, graphical, or conceptual.

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Introduction

Why do we have seasons? This WebQuest will help you understand the reasons for the seasons.  Carefully complete each task. You will be surprised just how much you will learn.

Task

You have been hired by an educational publishing company to produce posters for middle school science classrooms. Each poster will illustrate reasons why we have seasons.

Since many students have the wrong idea about what causes seasons, it is very important that your posters be very accurate. Each poster will present different reasons why we have seasons.

After you have researched the information for your posters, you will make your posters. If you haven't been given the WebQuest worksheet, click here. If you have not received the poster requirements, click here.

Process

Misconceptions

Your first poster will identify misconceptions students have about the seasons.  What are these misconceptions?  Use the resources below to find common misconceptions students have about the reasons for the seasons. 

Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy - Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions I

Common Misconceptions II

Once you have the information about the misconceptions, it’s time to learn the real reasons.

It’s the Tilt, Baby!

The real reason for the seasons is the tilt of the Earth.  Go the websites below.  Use the information you learn from the websites to explain the tilt of the Earth.  You will need this information to make your second poster.

Earth's Tilt Is the Reason for the Seasons!

SEPUP Seasons Interactive

Seasons and the Tilt Interactive

Why Do We Have Seasons?

Why is the Earth Tilted? (podcast)

Earth Location and Seasons

As the Earth revolves around the Sun, the tilt of the Earth affects the seasons.  The direction of the tilt never changes.  It is always pointing towards the North Star (Polaris).  Using the information from the websites, you will make your third poster.  Your third poster will show the location of the Earth at each season.  Make sure the tilt is in the right direction! 

What Causes Seasons?

Climate Education for K-12

Seasons Applet Using a Sundial

Observe Seasonal Changes

What’s Your Angle?

We have learned that the Earth’s tilt is responsible for the seasons.  We have also learned how the position of the Earth as it goes around the Sun affects the seasons.  The next question is, “How do the tilt and the Earth’s position affect the seasons?”  Use the resources below to get the information you need to make your fourth poster.

Reason for the Seasons

Climate Education for K-12

Reason for the Seasons II

KS3 Bitesize

Evaluation

You have been given a copy of the the rubric telling how your posters will be graded.

Conclusion

As you have researched the information required for the posters, you have learned about the reasons for the seasons.  Your challenge is to remember this information and share it whenever someone does not understand the reasons for the seasons.