Earth in Motion: Seasons

Earth In Motion: Seasons
(http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.eiu.seasonsgame/earth-in-motion-seasons/)

Standards

4.8 The student will investigate and understand the relationships among Earth, the moon, and the sun. Key concepts include
a) the motions of Earth, the moon, and the sun;
b) the causes for Earth’s seasons;

Summary

This animation is an illustrated look at the way that day and night as well as seasons on earth are created by the the tilt and rotation of the Earth in its orbit. The video begins with an introduction, a “movie” that you watch with the main character Max, that allows the viewer to replay each small segment to review the information presented.

Once you’ve watched the introduction with Max, he invites the user to participate in three different activities to send him on trips. Max poses different scenarios so that the user has to move the Earth along its orbits to put different hemispheres into specific seasons. As you move the Earth along its orbit, users can opt for a hint: a small popup shows images portraying what season you’ve chosen for that hemisphere. If you choose correctly, Max will show up in his destination and take some pictures. If you choose wrong, Max will give you another chance to try.

Why this is a quality resource

I thought this was a really cool resource because it is a self-contained lesson: it both teaches concepts and then tests the students on them in a fun way. I wish that Max posed more than three scenarios but I understand that it could get repetitive. I also really liked the pace of the introduction video and how you can repeat certain sections; that’s a good feature for students who might need to see the explanations multiple times.

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