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Earth and Space Science

Who sang this song? "Oh what a night, late December back in 63"

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Reid Fukushima Reid Fukushima 970 Points

Yes you guessed it "The Four Seasons." Which is the topic of my post. I always had a hard time explaining with confidence the reasons for the seasons. Thank goodness the earth is tilted 23.5%. If not we would have a lot less habitable space to live. How can we explain seasons to our children when they don't get to experience the seasons? How can we explain the seasons when they have no background knowledge of seasons?

Tabitha (Booth) Secretario Tabitha Booth 3385 Points

I love, "The Four Seasons," both the group and the science concept:) I too was a little confused myself at first and would be lying if I didn't say I had quite a few "aha" moments of my own, my first year of teaching it. My favorite thing about this topic is that like tides, it really is both a Earth and Space Science concept, in fact the seasons is how I make the transition from Earth into Space each spring. While we may not have bright leaves in the fall and snowy winters, we do have seasons here in Hawaii: we have longer and warmer days in the summer and shorter and cooler ones in the winter, and students are very aware of these changes. In many ways, I think it makes it easier to teach about the seasons in Hawaii because you don't get derailed by other questions like, "Why does it snow and how do trees survive in the winter?" or "Why do some leaves change color and others don't?" Looking back, I think that's why I didn't know much about seasons and what caused them until I had to teach it, was because when I was in Elementary all we did was sing songs, read poems and draw pictures of the seasonal changes with no explanation as to why they occur or maybe there was one but it was lost in all the pageantry. Unfortunately, when I started teaching Earth and Space Science, I was unaware of NSTA and its wealth of resources. Fortunately, I did have the internet, so I googled "teaching the seasons," and did my own kind of "Science Pack," in a way, by spending a good 5-6 hours exploring different sites...Wow! Can you imagine teaching before the internet? Hmm, maybe my lack of understanding on the seasons as a kid, wasn't so much my teacher's fault...

Reid Fukushima Reid Fukushima 970 Points

Thanks Tabitha. I guess I never thought of it that way. It would be harder to try and explain the seasons with all the other great questions that children come up with. It is great to hear that you were able to find so much information on the internet. I can't wait to find all that great information and add it to our curriculum.

Kehau Samuelu DonnaLynn Samuelu 3485 Points

I love the title of this post, it really got my attention. I also live in Hawaii where we don't have 4 seasons. As a kinder teacher it is really hard to teach this concept because it is such an abstract idea. I always think of K students on the mainland that maybe just need the right name for the different seasons to understand. However, being here in Hawaii I try to explain that we really have 2 seasons-a wet and dry. I try to use what they know first to make a connection that places far away have 4 seasons.

Hi Reid! I use Discovery Ed to help students with background knowledge of seasons. You're right, it is difficult to explain what happens in other parts of the world when students have never experienced the "four seasons". I have the book Sun and Rain: Exploring Seasons in Hawaii by Stephanie Feeney. I use this book to help students understand what happens in Hawaii and how we aren't as affected by the change in seasons because of our location on Earth. Next, I show the students a model of Earth, explaining the tilt of the axis, and how it orbits the sun. We watch the globe orbit around the sun and we discuss which hemisphere is receiving more sunlight and what is happening to the other side. I also talk about the extremes, the poles/ arctic, because of what types of seasons they go through during summer and winter. (My students love learning about Emperor penguins.) By the end of the lesson, I relate the four seasons with time. We analyze the calendar and how it follows Earth's orbit, which is why we have seasons because of the way the Earth moves around the sun. I end the lesson hoping students understand that Earth's orbit is about a year long and then the seasons start all over again.

Reid Fukushima Reid Fukushima 970 Points

Thank you Arlene for the link and DonnaLynn for the idea of teaching Hawaii’s seasons first. Finally thank you Alana for the title of the book (I will definitely be taking a look it) and the great ideas of how to explain the seasons in a more structured way.

Brett Smith Brett Smith 1015 Points

The Sci Pack "Earth, Sun, and Moon" gives a great explanation of the seasons.

Gladys Lopez Gladys Lopez 2985 Points

I live in Florida where our seasons consist of heat and humidity or heat, humidity and rain! Something I've seen teachers do, during my observations are fun, hands on experiments for the seasons such as make your own snow (winter), creating a garden with flowers that specifically bloom in spring, have your students create the perfect beach day using the information your teaching them. Anything you can do to build a connection, for example maybe have students share their own personal experiences they've had with the different seasons on trips.

Reid Fukushima Reid Fukushima 970 Points

Hey Alana, I just got the book that I ordered from It is a great book that I know that my students will love to hear. The pictures are great because it has all the local kine stuff from the islands that they will be able to relate too. Thanks for the great idea of introducing the seasons with this book. Reid

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