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The Sun, Earth, and moon all move in the sky. If you were to be farther out in space, you would see that their movements are related. Your purpose today is to find out how they move in relation to each other.
 

On a sheet of paper draw what you think the earth, sun and moon would look like from farther out in space.

Use circles to represent the paths that each moving object takes in your drawing. Draw arrows on the circles to show which direction each object is moving. This drawing represents your hypothesis.

Compare your drawing with a friend's drawing.

  • How are the drawings alike?
  • How are the drawings different?
  • Which drawing do you think is most correct?

Click to see on possible answer.

 

Analysis:

  1. Earth rotates in what direction? Clockwise or Counterclockwise
  2. Earth revolves in what direction? Clockwise or Counterclockwise
  3. Moon rotates in what direction? Clockwise or Counterclockwise
  4. Moon revolves in what direction? Clockwise or Counterclockwise
 
Extension:
 

Now that you have made your hypothesis get two friends and act out how the sun, moon, and Earth move. To do this, you need to go out to a playground or large area.

First, set up the area by standing in locations similar to where the sun, moon, and Earth are found in relationship to each other.

  • One person acts as the sun and will stand in place during this activity.
  • The second person acts as the earth. This person is to start by standing 50 giant steps away from the person acting as the sun.
  • The third person acts as the moon. This person is to stand five giant steps away from the person acting as the moon.

Now add the motion!

  • Remember that the person acting as the sun does not move.
  • The person acting as Earth takes giant steps as they walk in a circle around the sun.
  • The person acting as the moon takes baby steps as they walk in a circle around the earth. This person needs to take one giant step for every baby step the earth person takes.
  • If you really want to have fun - try to do this at the same time!
    • The person acting as Earth needs to spin in a circle as they walk around the sun person.
    • The person acting as the moon needs to always face the sun person as they walk around the earth person. Yes this means that sometimes you will walk backwards!
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Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 6th grade science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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