Some students misinterpret the idea of 24 hours in a day

Earth and Space


They might assume that the number of hours of daylight on a given day is the same everywhere on Earth or think that the duration of day and night are always equal.

Diagnostic Resources

The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception and start to address it.

For more information, see the University of York BEST website.

Resources to address this

  • Does the Earth move? (11-14)

    Ref - SPT ES04 TA04

    This is a discussion activity to explore the relationship between ideas and evidence in the context of the motion of the Earth.  You need to include the idea that the day spins once every 24 hrs.


    View Resource


  • Chiras, A. and Valenides, N., () Day/Night Cycle: Mental models of Primary School Children, Science Education International, 19 (1)


    Review sheet

2023 IOP Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more