Earth and Space

Selecting and developing activities for lighting the Earth

Classroom Activity for 5-11 Supporting Physics Teaching

Suggestions for activities to aid the teaching of 'lighting the Earth' based on the Physics Narrative and the Teaching Guidance.

Ideas to emphasise here

  • The relative location of astronomical objects
  • How the astronomical objects are illuminated
  • That we get information about astronomical objects from seeing
  • That light has to travel from source to our eye so that we can see the source
  • That both spinning and orbiting change what we are able to see

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narratives to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Classroom Activities for some examples of activities.

Strategies for supporting learning

  • Draw on existing models of seeing
  • Make extensive use of well thought out questions to intrigue and to promote fruitful additional questions
  • Relate observations and evidence to assertions
  • Seek to explicitly challenge likely misunderstandings
  • Act out and talk through complex changes

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Avoid these

  • Explaining why we see the different phases of the Moon as this draws on a number of different ideas, and is therefore best left until later
  • Explaining why there are different seasons on Earth, as this is complex, and best left until later

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

is a type of Planet
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