SC.4.E.5.4

Relate that the rotation of Earth (day and night) and apparent movements of the Sun, Moon, and stars are connected.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Earth in Space and Time - Humans continue to explore Earth's place in space. Gravity and energy influence the formation of galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, stars, the Solar System, and Earth. Humankind's need to explore continues to lead to the development of knowledge and understanding of our Solar System.
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)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.4.E.5.1
    Observe that the patterns of stars in the sky stay the same although they appear to shift across the sky nightly, and different stars can be seen in different seasons.

    SC.4.E.5.2 Describe the changes in the observable shape of the moon over the course of about a month.

    SC.4.E.5.3 Recognize that Earth revolves around the Sun in a year and rotates on its axis in a 24-hour day.

  • Clarification :
    Students will describe how the rotation of Earth and apparent movement of the Sun, Moon, and/or stars are related.

    Students will identify that the pattern of stars appears to shift across the sky nightly or that different stars can be seen in different seasons.

    Students will describe the visual changes in the appearance of the Moon.

    Students will explain that Earth revolves around the Sun in a year.

    Students will explain that Earth rotates on its axis in a 24-hour day.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will assess a conceptual understanding of the apparent movements of the Sun, Moon, and stars and resulting patterns.

    Items will not assess the causes of moon phases.

    Items will not assess or use vocabulary associated with moon phases, such as waning, waxing, and gibbous.

    Items will not require the identification of specific constellations.

    Items will not require specific knowledge of quantitative astronomical data.

    Items will not assess the causes of seasons, directness of sunlight, or Earth’s tilt.

    Items will not assess solar or lunar eclipses.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Scenarios referring to patterns of stars in the sky will not use the term constellation.
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • 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.K.E.5.2, SC.K.E.5.3, and SC.K.E.5.4.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Keisha wants to show Amy what happens during one Earth day. Keisha holds a small globe representing Earth, and Amy holds a large ball representing the Sun.




    what should keisha do to show amy what happens during one earth day?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.4.E.5.Pa.3: Identify morning, noon, and night.
SC.4.E.5.In.4: Recognize that the Sun appears to rise and set because of Earth’s rotation in a 24-hour day.
SC.4.E.5.Su.4: Recognize that the side of Earth facing the Sun has daylight.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Games

Astro Adventure (Earth, Space and Beyond):

This is a series of interactive modules on Engineering Interact, a free resource developed by the University of Cambridge Engineering department. It is a great whole group, small group, or individual interactive activity to explain a variety of concepts related to the solar system, including the rotation of the earth, what gives us our calendar, what causes the changes in seasons, how the planets are classified, and the phases of the moon.

Type: Educational Game

Taking a Voyage Away from Home:

In this printable lesson, K-2 Students create a model of the Sun and Earth. They also put together a simple puzzle of the solar system.

Type: Educational Game

Lesson Plans

Moon Phases:

This activity asks students to use models of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon system to discover why moon phases occur. Students use a Styrofoam ball to represent the Moon, which will be lit by a single light source in the classroom, to observe how different portions of the ball are illuminated as they hold it in various positions.

Type: Lesson Plan

How is the Earth Connected to the Moon, Sun and Other Parts of the Universe?:

There are many connections between the Earth and other heavenly bodies. The Earth's rotation creates night and day. The moon's rotation and revolution around the Earth creates the moon phases.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Lunar Cycle:

In this lesson, students learn about the Moon's changing appearance and its pattern of movement. Through class discussion, activities, and multimedia resources, students explore the phases of the Moon and are introduced to the concept of orbital motion. The Moon, Earth's only natural satellite, is easily observed with the naked eye. Over the course of one month, students observe and investigate its full range of appearances and its pattern of movement in the sky. Students then model the sun, earth and moon system in the classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Super Star:

Our star, the Sun, is an ordinary star. It is not particularly special compared to other stars in the universe; however, it is crucially important to us. As the massive energy source at the center of our solar system, the Sun is responsible for Earth's climate, weather, and life. In this lesson, students use observations, activities, and videos to learn basic facts about the Sun. Students also model the mechanics of day and night and use solar energy to make a tasty treat.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Rotation of the Earth :

Explore the motion of objects in the sky like the Sun, Moon and stars and their connection to the rotating Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

Earth and Moon Viewer:

This website can be used to show students views of the moon. The Earth can also be viewed.

Type: Teaching Idea

Star Light, Star Bright:

As a result of this activity, students will be able to identify different constellations and the myths associated with them. Students will also have a better understanding of why the stars appear to move across the sky and why different constellations can be seen in different seasons.

Type: Teaching Idea

Video/Audio/Animation

Observe Sunrise and Sunset:

This video segment produced for Teachers' Domain features a time-lapse video of clouds forming, changing, and moving across the sky from day to night.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Rotation of the Earth :

Explore the motion of objects in the sky like the Sun, Moon and stars and their connection to the rotating Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Rotation of the Earth :

Explore the motion of objects in the sky like the Sun, Moon and stars and their connection to the rotating Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animation

Observe Sunrise and Sunset:

This video segment produced for Teachers' Domain features a time-lapse video of clouds forming, changing, and moving across the sky from day to night.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Game

Astro Adventure (Earth, Space and Beyond):

This is a series of interactive modules on Engineering Interact, a free resource developed by the University of Cambridge Engineering department. It is a great whole group, small group, or individual interactive activity to explain a variety of concepts related to the solar system, including the rotation of the earth, what gives us our calendar, what causes the changes in seasons, how the planets are classified, and the phases of the moon.

Type: Educational Game

Teaching Idea

Earth and Moon Viewer:

This website can be used to show students views of the moon. The Earth can also be viewed.

Type: Teaching Idea