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Ch 11: The Earth, Sky & Moon Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Earth, Sky and Moon chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about our planet, its sky and moon in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Earth, Sky and Moon chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
MondayMeasuring objects in the sky
Important points on the celestial sphere
The cycle of seasons
Celestial sphere, angular size, distance and diameter, arc minutes or seconds
Horizon, zenith, nadir, north and south celestial poles, celestial equator
Vernal and autumnal equinox, summer and winter solstice, perihelion, aphelion
Tuesday Geography of the four seasons
Horizon coordinate system
Equatorial coordinate system
Description of the seasons and how they vary in different locations, the role of the Earth's tilt
How the horizon coordinate, or azimuth, system works, advantages and drawbacks of the horizon coordinate system
How the equatorial system of location works, declination, right ascension
WednesdayPrecession
Lunar eclipse
Solar eclipse
Definition of precession and why the coordinates of the stars change with time, equinoxes, rotation
Definition, types of lunar eclipses, refraction, totality, Earth's penumbra
Definition, how solar eclipses are possible, corona, photosphere, chromosome, diamond ring effect
Thursday Annular eclipse
Predicting eclipses
Changing colors of the sun
Definition of annular eclipse and why they occur, apogee, perigee
Methods of predicting solar and lunar eclipses, eclipse season, eclipse year, line of nodes, Saros cycle
Why the sun changes color through the day, prism, wavelength
Friday Magnetosphere
Tides
Tidal friction
Definition of magnetosphere, magnetotail, magnetopause, aurorae, bow shock
How gravity, the moon and the sun influence tides, including why tides vary with phases of the moon
Definition of tidal friction, the synchronous rotation of the moon, tidal force

15 Lessons in Chapter 11: The Earth, Sky & Moon Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Measuring Objects in the Sky: Angular Size & Distance

1. Measuring Objects in the Sky: Angular Size & Distance

This lesson will teach you about the celestial sphere, angular distance, angular size and diameter, arc minutes, and arc seconds. You'll also learn some neat tricks on how to use your own hands to measure these.

Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

2. Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

This lesson will discuss some important points and lines located on the celestial sphere, including the zenith, nadir, celestial equator, meridian, and north and south celestial poles.

The Cycle of the Seasons in Astronomy

3. The Cycle of the Seasons in Astronomy

This lesson will explain to you why the Earth has different seasons, what the equinoxes and solstices are, their names, and if the distance the Earth is from the Sun influences the seasons.

The Horizon Coordinate System

4. The Horizon Coordinate System

This lesson will describe a celestial coordinate system known as the horizon system or altazimuth system, as well as important terms such as altitude, azimuth, zenith, and angular distance.

The Equatorial Coordinate System

5. The Equatorial Coordinate System

This lesson will teach you about the fundamentals of the equatorial system, including declination, right ascension, the vernal equinox, angular diameter, and celestial equator.

What is Precession?

6. What is Precession?

You've probably heard of the term precession. But what is this really? And what significance does it have to our night sky? This lesson will explain what it is and what it causes.

Lunar Eclipse: Definition & Types

7. Lunar Eclipse: Definition & Types

This lesson will teach you about the lunar eclipse. You'll learn the difference between a penumbral, partial, and total lunar eclipse, and see what totality means with respect to a total lunar eclipse.

What Is a Solar Eclipse?

8. What Is a Solar Eclipse?

This lesson will describe what a solar eclipse is, why it's possible, when a partial or a total one will occur, and what cool effects occur during one.

Annular Eclipse: The Changing Size of the Moon

9. Annular Eclipse: The Changing Size of the Moon

This lesson will explain what an annular eclipse is and why it occurs with respect to the sizes of the Moon, the Sun, and the position of the Moon during its orbit.

How Can We Predict An Eclipse?

10. How Can We Predict An Eclipse?

This lesson will tell you when lunar and solar eclipses are possible, what nodes have to do with it, how long eclipse seasons last, and what the Saros cycle is.

Why the Sun Changes Color

11. Why the Sun Changes Color

The Sun does not change its true color. However, the way we observe the Sun on Earth makes it appear that the sun changes color. Why this is so is outlined in this lesson.

Magnetosphere: Definition & Facts

12. Magnetosphere: Definition & Facts

In this lesson, you'll learn about how the northern lights are formed thanks to the magnetosphere and solar wind. Of course, you'll learn a lot more, including what the Van Allen belts, magnetopause, and magnetotail are.

How Gravity, the Moon & the Sun Influence Tides

13. How Gravity, the Moon & the Sun Influence Tides

This lesson will define tides, the tidal force, neap tide, and spring tide. It will also talk about how the sun, moon, and Earth interact to produce tidal bulges.

Tidal Friction: Effects on Earth & the Moon

14. Tidal Friction: Effects on Earth & the Moon

This lesson will go over the concept of tidal friction, why it occurs, and how all of that has affected Earth's spin and day length, as well as the moon's rotation and distance from Earth.

Geography of the Four Seasons

15. Geography of the Four Seasons

This lesson will explain how the earth's axis and rotation affect seasons. In doing this, it will also highlight the concept of the summer and winter solstices, as well as how seasons vary around the globe.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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