On Earth . . .

On Earth by G. Brian Karas is a wonderful book to introduce how the Earth moves through space, why we have night and day and what causes the seasons.

I was curious about what the students already knew. We examined the front cover which folds open to reveal the image above as well as part of the earth in darkness, surrounded by space.

What do we know? Let’s access our background knowledge! And pose some questions. . .

  • In one place it is day and another it is night (Edwin)
  • The Earth spins around once in 24 hours (Ricky)
  • What happens if the sun and moon come together? Would the moon melt? (Jeremiah)
  • That’s an eclipse! (Josiah)
  • The sun can only shine on half at once (Edwin)
  • At different places on Earth, there can be different times (Jena)
  • Why can’t we feel the spinning? (Scott)
  • Space never ends! (Ricky)
  • Why when you face the sun, you can’t see the planets? (Alyson)

As we read, more thinking and questions happened.

  • How does the Earth spin? (Ricky)
  • If planets were more away from the sun, are years longer? (Alyson)
  • Does the Earth also go around the sun? (Jenny)
  • What happens if the sun got sick? (Scott)
  • If there was no gravity on Earth, we would float out into space (Josiah)

Lots of great learning happened with this book and students were able to use new vocabulary in their writing: axis, orbit, gravity, seasons, equator.

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