Earth's Orbit Teacher Resources

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Survey the solar system by viewing this PowerPoint. Amateur astronomers discover that gravity is responsible for Earth's orbit around the sun and the moon's orbit around Earth. They explore the moon's phases and Earth's seasons. This presentation touches on a variety of topics, so it would be best used as a unit review. Note: Pluto is included as one of the planets in our solar system. 
Students explore the planet Earth, outer space, and Earth's axis. They demonstrate reading comprehension skills, including literal meaning, inference and critical analysis.
Students discuss the solar system, the planets, periods of orbit and revolution.  In this space lesson students discuss the importance of the study of Mars and brainstorm ideas on how NASA might solve its Rover design problem. 
Learners explore satellite orbits and gravitational force.
Students identify landforms created by forces of nature. In this instructional activity on Earth's surface, students watch a video about the Earth's surface and use satellite images of the United States to identify various changes seem in the surface of the Earth.
Continuing where he left off in the previous video, Sal explains that life began after the heavy bombardment 3.8-4 billion years ago. He defines the earliest forms of unicellular life forms including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryote and how they evolved as the Earth began to change.
Students build a scale model of the Solar System and determine the time other planets take to travel around the Sun in comparison to the time of the Earth's revolution. The velocity of the planets are also determined in this lesson.
Students identify the different objects that orbit Saturn. In this space science lesson, students plot the graph of orbital speed and distance. They explain why planets and asteroids remain in orbit around the sun.
Students investigate the positions of the planets relative to Earth and calculate distances and the time needed for radio signals to travel these distances.
Middle schoolers examine the principles of orbit using water balloons and a piece of string to see how gravity and the velocity of a spacecraft balance to form an orbit. They determine how an object can escape the gravity of the sun or planet. They look at how engineers design huge rockets so that they can get out of the Earth's gravity.
Students determine the causes of changes in season. In this earth science lesson, students relate the Earth's tilt to seasonal changes. They list traditional activities that take place in various seasons.
Students study the seasons of the Earth. In this seasons instructional activity, students study the science of the seasons on Earth by studying the tilt and axis of the Earth's orbit. Students read background information and four experimental activities to learn about the cause of the seasons.
Students identify the main components of the solar system. In this earth science activity, students order the planets according to their distances from the Sun. They differentiate planets from dwarf planets.
Rarely do you find resources that reach high school astronomy learners. Here is something at their level! The physics of flyby missions is explained via several examples. Landing, penetrating, and roving spacecraft are examined. Diagrams explain how to overcome gravity and enter the orbit of other planets. Even the types of energy, time, and costs required are visited! If you are teaching a high school astronomy course, this presentation is for you! Note: The presentation was created in 2003, so you may want to update some of the facts.
In this ellipse activity, students learn the difference between an orbit and an ellipse. They draw ellipses and calculate the distance between foci, they calculate the length of the major axis and they determine the eccentricity. They answer questions about the eccentricity of the planets.
Students explore the Earth's rotation and revolution using an online simulator. In this earth science activity, students relate how the Earth's tilt and position affect climate and seasons. They complete worksheets during the simulation.
Students discover the relationship between the sun and Earth.  In this weather lesson, students examine the effect of the sun on the Earth's seasons.  Students complete a weather activity using props to simulate the sun and Earth's orbit.
In this sun's diameter activity, students use a photograph taken by the SOHO satellite of the sun showing a change in diameter from one month to another. Students find the average diameter of the sun, they determine the percent change in the diameter and they find the change in the distance of the sun to the Earth between June to January.
Why do we have four seasons? A series of questions about the Earth's orbit and its impact on seasons challenge Earth science students.The second page of the resource has nine multiple choice questions, such as "One year on Earth is one (revolution/rotation) of the Earth around the sun."
Young scholars determine the correct orbital path for a satellite that collects data about the sun so that its view of the sun never be obstructed by the Earth.

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Earth's Orbit