Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Solstice and Equinox, and supports the standard of using a model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon to describe seasons. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: Why are there more hours of daylight in summer than in winter? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read the description one the Solstice and Equinox topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Students take the Solstice and Equinox Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN 

Students express what they learned about solstice and equinox while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a news report announcing the winter solstice. Describe how the Earth’s tilt and position impact people living at the equator, in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and at the poles. 
  •  Make-a-Map: Identify Earth’s position in relation to the Sun at multiple points of the year, and describe impact on people living in different regions. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme representing what it’s like where you live during the summer and winter solstices.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine satellite images of Earth’s terminator and cite details to answer accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of Earth’s systems with these topics: Seasons, Time Zones, and Earth’s Atmosphere.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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