V.4.E.2

Benchmark 2
Describe the motion of the Earth around the Sun and the Moon around the Earth.

Benchmark Clarification

The Earth travels around the Sun while the Moon travels around the Earth. This motion can be recorded on a calendar as months, years, and Moon’s phases. The motion of one body around another body is called revolution/revolving. The path that the Earth and Moon take as they revolve is called an orbit.

Students will:

* Describe the motion of the Earth around the Sun as revolving in an orbit
* Explain that the motion of the Earth around the Sun follows a path called an orbit and can be measured as one year
* Describe the motion of the Moon around the Earth
* Explain that the motion of the Moon around the Earth follows a path called an orbit and can be measured as one month

Note: This motion is not rotation/rotating/spinning on an axis. The Earth spins on its axis once every twenty-four hours and is measured as a day or day and night. A entrenched misconception, present in college, is that rotation and revolution are synonymous. Having students spin in place and then walking around a central point are good ways to differentiate the two concepts. A fun activity is having students both spin and walk around a central point, mimicking the actual rotation and revolution of the earth around the sun.

Key Concept / MEAP Vocabulary

* revolve
* revolution
* orbit
* month
* year
* observed movement of the Sun and stars across the sky
* observed movement of the Moon from day to day
* calendar

Real World Context
Outdoor observation of the Sun’s and stars’ motions during the night and the Moon’s motions over several days