Elementary Science - The Seasons Lesson Plan

Grade: 3rd
Time: 35 minutes
Subject/Topic: Science/Seasons
Standard: – Observe and describe the daily and seasonal changes in the position of the sun and compare observations.
Objective: Students will understand why seasons change as well as what revolve and rotate mean.
·         2 minute video on seasons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuiQvPLWziQ
·         Globe
·         Chalk
·         Provided Worksheet
Introduction: Have the students sit on the floor in front of the smart-board. Ask the students what their favorite season is. Ask them why the seasons change four times a year.
1.      Tell the students that seasons change because the earth is tilted. Show the globe and ask them if they can see the tilt. Have 3 volunteers guess what angle it’s tilted at (23.5).
2.      Ask the students if they know what Earth’s axis is.
3.      Open the first smart-board activity and read the slide. Click on the maroon covered words to get definitions (axis, gravity, the seasons). Play the animation of the earth and sun. (Don’t click on Part 3)
4.      Ask the students to watch Africa and observe which way it faces when going around the sun.
5.      Show the two minute video clip. Ask the students what they observed.
6.      Ask the students why Florida has no snow right now (the sun is shining on the southern hemisphere).
7.      Open the second smart-board activity. Tell the students that they have to fill in the missing words of this paragraph about the earth and the sun.
8.      Have volunteers drag the words to the blank spot. Have the computer sound on as animated students will cheer if they get it right.
9.      Tell students that when Earth rotates, it spins on its axis (creating day and night). Then tell the students that when Earth revolves, it goes around the sun (creating seasons).
10.  Go outside with the students and draw a picture of the Earth with chalk. Have the students get in a big circle around you. Tell them you are the sun and each student will pretend to be the Earth. Then tell them they are going to play Simon says. “When I ask you to rotate, you are going to spin in place. When I ask you to revolve you are going to walk around the sun. Now lets put it together slowly rotate and revolve.”
11.  Ask the students to show you which motion. Which motion causes night and day? Which causes seasons?
12.  Have the class go back inside the classroom. If time permits, have them sit at their desks and complete the provided worksheet.
Closure: Today we learned about why seasons change but next class we will learn about the stars!
Assessment: Ask the students what causes the seasons to change. Ask them what rotating and revolving means. Have the students hand in their completed season worksheet.
Management/Transitions: Students will sit on the floor quietly then transition to their desks. Students will be seated in an appropriate spot, not by their friends to disturb the class. Management techniques will include “Give me five” and clapping.
ELL students will need the teacher or peers to read off the slides of the smart-board lesson.
One student is in a wheelchair so an adult will need to go outside and wheel her around with the other students.  
Lower level learners will be guided in the class discussion by their peers and partners.
Higher level learners will be introduced to new, higher level vocabulary.