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Seasons, Clocks and Calendars

Each activity or resource is labeled by access mode:

Requires computer access
Requires downloading from the Web
$$ Order materials and supplies

Main Topics & Concepts
  • Earth's Seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation
  • The Sun's Motion in the sky moves with respect to any horizon and follows regular patterns throughout the year,
  • Time-keeping Systems have relied on solar, lunar, and even planetary or stellar cycles to measure days, months, and years.
This topic touches on California 8th grade Earth Science Standard 4e.
Science Probe Text
Not Found
Activities & Lessons
Activity Access Description
The Real Reasons For the Seasons
book Teacher's Guide/CD with activities that illustrate how Earth gets differing amounts of energy from the Sun during the year.  
B. Sun and Seasons

The Universe at Your Fingertips ASP* 

book 7 hands-on activities for grades 8-9
B. Sun and Seasons

The Universe at Your Fingertips TOO ASP* 

book More hands-on activities.
Earth, Moon, and Stars. Activity 5: Making a Star Clock. 


book In this one-period activity, students construct star clocks from pre-printed pieces, and practice using them with a star poster made in advance. They can then test their skills outside at night.
Sundial In Your Pocket web After investigating the Sun's path in the sky, the summer and winter Sun, the equinox and the north celestial pole, students can follow instructions to make a necklace/keychain horizontal sundial. Some printing of pages may be advisable.

*Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Ordering info $$

**How to Order a GEMS guide  $$

Resources Access Description

Calendars Through the Ages

National Inst. of Standards and Technology

web Explore fascinating history of man's endeavor to organize our lives in accordance with the Sun and stars.
A Walk Through Time

National Inst. of Standards and Technology

web Short articles on ancient calendars, clocks, and the development of time measurement from the movement of the sun, moon and stars.