Standard #: SC.8.E.5.9


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Explain the impact of objects in space on each other including:
  1. the Sun on the Earth including seasons and gravitational attraction
  2. the Moon on the Earth, including phases, tides, and eclipses, and the relative position of each body.


General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 8
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Earth in Space and Time - The origin and eventual fate of the Universe still remains one of the greatest questions in science. Gravity and energy influence the formation of galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, stars, the planetary systems, and Earth. Humankind’s need to explore continues to lead to the development of knowledge and understanding of the nature of the Universe.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Test Item Specifications

    Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
    N/A

    Clarification :
    Students will explain the effect of astronomical bodies on each other including the Sun’s and/or the Moon’s effects on Earth.
    Content Limits :
    Items addressing eclipses should be assessed at the conceptual level and will not assess specific vocabulary associated with eclipses, such as umbra and penumbra.
    Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
    Response Attributes :
    Options may be in the form of labeled illustrations.
    Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.4.E.5.1, SC.4.E.5.2, SC.4.E.5.3, and SC.4.E.5.4.


Sample Test Items (1)

Test Item # Question Difficulty Type
Sample Item 1 The water level at the beach changes during the day. What causes the different water levels? N/A MC: Multiple Choice


Related Courses

Course Number1111 Course Title222
2002100: M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002110: M/J Comprehensive Science 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001020: M/J Earth/Space Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820017: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001025: M/J STEM Astronomy and Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))


Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.8.E.5.In.9 Recognize that the four seasons are related to Earth’s position as it travels (revolves) around the Sun.
SC.8.E.5.In.10 Recognize that the Moon's revolution around the Earth takes about thirty days.
SC.8.E.5.Su.7 Recognize that Earth revolves around the Sun creating the four seasons.
SC.8.E.5.Pa.3 Recognize the four seasons.


Related Resources

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Lunar Phases

Hands-on modeling of lunar phases in order to recognize each of the eight positions in the lunar cycle.

The Impact of the Sun and Moon on Tides

The student will use models to demonstrate the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon and their impact on tides. Students will explain the impact and relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun on tides.

A Change for Every Season

A Change for Every Season highlights how the sun affects Earth's seasons. The activity asks students to pack a suitcase for a vacation in the Southern Hemisphere. The goal of this lesson is to demonstrate that the tilt of the Earth on its axis, direct and indirect sunlight determines the seasons. The lesson will only address the portion of the standard SC.8.E.5.9 pertaining to seasons.

The Attractive Moon

Students will create a tidal range graph for one month worth of data and compare it to the moon phases for that month to see the connection between the moon phase and the tidal range.

Modeling the Phases of the Moon

Provide your students with the opportunity to experience the gradually changing phases of the moon. By the end of this activity students will be able to model the relative positions of the sun, moon, and Earth for any moon phase and explain why the moon appears to go through phases that gradually change throughout the month. Students will model the revolution of the moon around Earth in 3 dimensions and make careful observations of the way the moon looks to them as the shadows on the moon gradually change. Students will draw what the moon looks like from their perspective at strategic positions that model the relative positions of the sun, moon, and Earth at New Moon, Waxing Crescent, 1st Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, and Waning Crescent.

Exposing a common misconception: The distance the Earth is from the Sun causes seasons, right?

This lab exposes a common misconception: that the distance the Earth is from the Sun causes the change in seasons. In this lab experience students will start with a exploratory lab to model the distance between the Earth and Sun during aphelion and perihelion. To dispel this misconception, students then engage in one of two suggested labs that address the true cause for the seasons, Earth's tilt. During both of these labs students will learn that the tilt of the Earth causes one hemisphere to receive more direct sunlight than the other. Earth's axis doesn't tilt in its orbit but as the Earth progresses through its orbit the hemispheres receive varying amounts of direct and indirect sunlight.

Moons in Motion Students should understand that the observed phase of the moon is determined by the moon's position relative to the Earth and sun.
"Tasty" Moon Phases

The students will demonstrate their knowledge of moon phases by creating the moon phases using cream filled chocolate cookies (Oreos). Students will also complete a moon phase handout depicting the placement of the moon Earth and Sun.

Water On the Move

This lesson focuses on the influence of gravity on the the Earth's tides, but addresses every part of the standard SC.8.E.5.9 except seasons and eclipses. Seasons and Eclipses should be taught at another time. Students will be using an online simulator to complete an observation sheet in order to determine the cause of the tides. Students will also apply the knowledge from their observations and notes to real-time data on a graph.

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Tides

Explore the causes of tides as they occur along the coasts around the world in this interactive tutorial.

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Explore and contrast solar and lunar eclipses in this interactive tutorial. By the end, you'll learn how interactions between the Sun, Earth, and moon cause these cool phenomena. 

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Name Description
Modeling Lunar Phases with Cookies

Students will be over the moon when they get to model lunar phases with cookies!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Presentation/Slideshow

Name Description
Making Sun-Earth Connections This presentation, offered by NASA, includes colorful graphics and presentation notes to help students understand the dynamics of the Sun, of the aurora, and of the turbulent space around Earth.

Teaching Idea

Name Description
Modeling Sunlight on Earth Groups of students work with a flashlight and globe to model sunlight on Earth at different times of the year.

Text Resources

Name Description
Weather/ Whiz Kids/ Climate

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The text covers many topics about weather and climate including the water cycle, seasons, greenhouse effect, and climate change.

Titanic Sunk by "Supermoon" and Celestial Alignment?

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This news article describes an astronomer's theory that a particularly strong series of tides contributed to an abundance of icebergs and may have resulted in the sinking of the Titanic. It is complete with the evidence behind the theory and a contrary opinion from another astronomer.

Tutorials

Name Description
How the Earth's Tilt Causes Seasons

This tutorial discusses how the Earth's tilt causes the different seasons. The tutorial supports student learning with visual representations of how the tilt of the Earth as it orbits the Sun influences the seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Seasons and Temperatures

Spring, summer, fall and winter. Many places on the Earth have seasons. Others do not. What causes the seasons? This tutorial discusses seasonal changes and describes that they are caused by the movement of the Earth around the sun, the tilt of the Earth, and how high the sun will get in the sky.

Video/Audio/Animations

Name Description
Solar Eclipses Every now and then, the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that, when viewed from parts of the Earth, the Moon eclipses the Sun's light. Solar eclipses are fairly common -- the Moon will block out some portion of the Sun at least twice a year. However, it is still a special event to be able to witness a total solar eclipse. In this video segment adapted from NASA, learn how solar eclipses happen and why they are so difficult to witness.
Eclipse of the Century

In July 1991, the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth produced a rare opportunity — a total solar eclipse with a particularly long duration and a path that crossed easily accessible locations, including a major astronomical observatory in Hawaii. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn about the mechanics of solar eclipses and observe the rare 1991 eclipse from the top of Mauna Kea.

Virtual Manipulative

Name Description
Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator
  • Observe the orbit of the earth around the sun and its relationship to seasons
  • Understand the factors affecting Earth's climate
  • Observe the effect of Earth's tilt on the seasons

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Tides:

Explore the causes of tides as they occur along the coasts around the world in this interactive tutorial.

Solar and Lunar Eclipses:

Explore and contrast solar and lunar eclipses in this interactive tutorial. By the end, you'll learn how interactions between the Sun, Earth, and moon cause these cool phenomena. 

Tutorials

Name Description
How the Earth's Tilt Causes Seasons:

This tutorial discusses how the Earth's tilt causes the different seasons. The tutorial supports student learning with visual representations of how the tilt of the Earth as it orbits the Sun influences the seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Seasons and Temperatures:

Spring, summer, fall and winter. Many places on the Earth have seasons. Others do not. What causes the seasons? This tutorial discusses seasonal changes and describes that they are caused by the movement of the Earth around the sun, the tilt of the Earth, and how high the sun will get in the sky.

Video/Audio/Animations

Name Description
Solar Eclipses: Every now and then, the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that, when viewed from parts of the Earth, the Moon eclipses the Sun's light. Solar eclipses are fairly common -- the Moon will block out some portion of the Sun at least twice a year. However, it is still a special event to be able to witness a total solar eclipse. In this video segment adapted from NASA, learn how solar eclipses happen and why they are so difficult to witness.
Eclipse of the Century:

In July 1991, the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth produced a rare opportunity — a total solar eclipse with a particularly long duration and a path that crossed easily accessible locations, including a major astronomical observatory in Hawaii. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn about the mechanics of solar eclipses and observe the rare 1991 eclipse from the top of Mauna Kea.

Virtual Manipulative

Name Description
Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator:
  • Observe the orbit of the earth around the sun and its relationship to seasons
  • Understand the factors affecting Earth's climate
  • Observe the effect of Earth's tilt on the seasons


Parent Resources

Video/Audio/Animation

Name Description
Solar Eclipses: Every now and then, the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that, when viewed from parts of the Earth, the Moon eclipses the Sun's light. Solar eclipses are fairly common -- the Moon will block out some portion of the Sun at least twice a year. However, it is still a special event to be able to witness a total solar eclipse. In this video segment adapted from NASA, learn how solar eclipses happen and why they are so difficult to witness.

Virtual Manipulative

Name Description
Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator:
  • Observe the orbit of the earth around the sun and its relationship to seasons
  • Understand the factors affecting Earth's climate
  • Observe the effect of Earth's tilt on the seasons


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