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
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
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

Objects are measured in the sky using things like angular size and distance. Explore the celestial sphere, angles, degrees, angular distance, and size, and learn a neat trick for measuring objects in the sky.

Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

2. Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

The imaginary celestial sphere surrounding Earth is a reference tool that allows for the locations of objects in the sky to be located. Learn about the important points on the celestial sphere, including the horizon, zenith, nadir, equator, the North and South poles, and the meridian.

The Cycle of the Seasons in Astronomy

3. The Cycle of the Seasons in Astronomy

Explore astronomy's cycle of the seasons to understand Earth's seasons. Examine the ecliptic and celestial equator, the vernal equinox and summer solstice, the autumnal equinox and summer solstice, and perihelion and aphelion.

The Horizon Coordinate System

4. The Horizon Coordinate System

The horizon system is used to find objects in the sky and determine their positioning. Learn more about the horizon coordinate system, the celestial horizon, altitudes and azimuth, and more on limitations.

The Equatorial Coordinate System

5. The Equatorial Coordinate System

The equatorial coordinate system is a method of identifying sections of the sky using declination (angle from equator) and right ascension (angle from vernal equinox). Learn the use of this system compared to longitude and latitude on the earth's surface.

What is Precession?

6. What is Precession?

The change in direction of Earth's axis of rotation is known as precession and it can affect the state of the planet. Learn more on recognizing the work of Hipparchus, compare revolution and rotation, and discuss the process and consequences of precession.

Lunar Eclipse: Definition & Types

7. Lunar Eclipse: Definition & Types

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon darkens as it moves into the Earth's shadow and the two align with the sun. Explore the definition and types of lunar eclipses, such as partial and total lunar eclipse, and understand the significance of Earth's umbra and penumbra.

What Is a Solar Eclipse?

8. What Is a Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the sunlight and casting a shadow on Earth. Learn how a solar eclipse is possible, explore partial and total solar eclipses, and discover the effects of a solar eclipse.

Annular Eclipse: The Changing Size of the Moon

9. Annular Eclipse: The Changing Size of the Moon

The annular eclipse is a type of solar eclipse that involves the visibility of the sun's photosphere as a bright ring around the moon. Explore a comparison of sun and moon size, the changing size of the moon, types of solar eclipses, and why annular eclipses occur.

How Can We Predict An Eclipse?

10. How Can We Predict An Eclipse?

Thanks to consistent lunar and solar cycles, ancient and modern astronomers have been able to predict eclipses. Learn about lunar and solar orbits, explore how we can predict an eclipse, and discover the Saros cycle.

Why the Sun Changes Color

11. Why the Sun Changes Color

The sun changes color based on our perception and the position of the sun at a given time. Explore the changing colors of the sun, wavelengths of light, and how they determine color, prisms, and the setting sun.

Magnetosphere: Definition & Facts

12. Magnetosphere: Definition & Facts

The magnetosphere is the furthest outside part of the earth's atmosphere. Explore the definition and facts about the magnetosphere and learn about the Van Allen belts, magnetopause, magnetotail, bow shock, and the aurorae.

How Gravity, the Moon & the Sun Influence Tides

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

Earth is connected through it's gravitational pull and chemical reactions from the moon and sun, which also influences the oceans. Learn more about these elements and how gravity also affects tides.

Tidal Friction: Effects on Earth & the Moon

14. Tidal Friction: Effects on Earth & the Moon

The moon has a major effect on the tides of the seas on Earth because of tidal bulges that create tidal friction. Learn more about tidal friction, how the moon slows down the Earth, and the Earth's effects on lunar tides.

Geography of the Four Seasons

15. Geography of the Four Seasons

The geography of the four seasons is affected by the earth's rotation. Learn about the differences in seasons as affected by the earth's axis and rotation, and examine the earth's solstice between hemispheres.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in The Earth, Sky & Moon Lesson Plans.

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