Some students have ideas that the Sun gets covered and that is what causes night
For example, the Sun might get covered by clouds, the Moon, or something called “night”.
The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.
For more information, see the University of York BEST website.
Resources to address this
Why do we get day and night? (5-11) & (11-14)
Ref - SPT HS03 TL03 & ES04 TA03
Simple blocking explanations: These explanations all involve something getting in the way of the Sun, blocking its light and thereby creating the darkness of night. Common wrong tracks include arguing that the Moon, clouds or hills and mountains cause sunlight to be blocked.
This is a 'wrong track' idea.View Resource
The following studies have documented this misconception:
- Baxter, J., () Children's understanding of familiar astronomical events, International Journal of Science Education, 11 (5)
- Osborne, J., Wadsworth, P., Black, P. and Meadows, J., () The earth in space: Primary space project research report, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
- Sharp, G. J., () Children's astronomical beliefs: a preliminary study of Year 6 children in south‐west England, International Journal of Science Education, 18 (6)
- Slater, V. E., Morris, E. J. & McKinnon, D., () Astronomy alternative conceptions in preadolescent students in Western Australia, International Journal of Science Education, 40 (17)