Earth, sun, & moon lesson plans for 3rd grade

Earth, moon, and sun activities for 3rd-grade and 4th-grade

VA SOL teachers, learn new Earth, moon, and sun activities for 3rd grade and 4th grade

Google Classroom science lessonsDo you teach Earth's cycles in science?

In third-grade in Virginia, one of our science units we teach students about the revolution of the Earth around the sun, moon phases, Earth's rotation, and tides. Some of these can be fairly abstract concepts for an 8-9-year-old, so I try to make the learning as concrete as possible to truly get students to understand the concepts.

I create my blog posts and resources in hopes of making teachers lives easier. I have taught my students about Earth's cycles for six years, and I culminated some various ideas and activtieis that may work for you in your classroom.
Keep reading to find out some ways that I teach rotation and revolution in my classroom and that may work in yours too!

Earth, sun, and moon activities 

Reason for the seasons model

Reason for the Seasons activity

You guys. Understanding the reason for the seasons and what the Earth's tilt causes is surprisingly hard- and even harder for students! I love completing a concrete activity with students to help remember this tricky concept. This activity is fun and cute, and provides a nice visual for the kiddos to truly understand the tilt of the Earth and seasons.  If you want a quick activity with all the pieces included, click here.

I always have a billion paper plates in my room from classroom parties or treats that the kids bring in.  Does that happen to you? Every birthday party or holiday party, parents bring in a boatload of plates. I love how prepared and kind they are for bringing them in, but they can add up quickly! So I try to find ways to use those plates.

Rotation and revolution worksheet

Science interactive notebook printables

I love having hands-on learning for my students. Interactive notebooks serve as a fantastic reference point for students. We create a few foldable resources and keep them in their science notebooks to serve as easy study guides. You could make your own foldables in your science notebooks, or to save time check out my resource here.

Google Classroom science lessons

I love incorporating digital learning into my lessons. My students utilize Google Classroom. I assign a few activities each day. Sometimes we do these activities in partners, other times we do them whole group and students come up to the SmartBoard to do it. You can create these yourself, or you can take a peek at the ones I have in my store to save you time!

Google Classroom science lessons
Interested? I have one for moon phases, Earth's rotation and revolution, and tides. You can choose to buy all three, or get each separately depending on what you are teaching and need lessons for in your classroom!

If you are new to Google Classroom, I have blog posts explaining its benefits and even how to upload and send to students! Once you get the hang of it, it will make your life drastically easier. No more need to stand at the copy machine two minutes before class starts!

SCIENCE PICTURE BOOKS 

Rotation and revolution worksheet

I love going to the library ahead of the unit and checking out all these books. Then, you can leave them in a basket or bin in your classroom library. My kids enjoy getting to flip through these "books of the month," and it helps reinforce their science learning while working on their literacy skills. Please note the following are Amazon Affiliate links.

SUN ROTATION AND REVOLUTION VIDEO

Science interactive notebook printablesWhen it comes to talking about space or seeing actual models, I think that videos are key. I can talk about the Earth and Moon for days on end, but actually SEEING it makes a huge difference in a student's understanding. These videos and video snippets below are a perfect way to help fill in the gaps for your students' learning. I LOVE Bill Nye for science lessons as review before a test/quiz. My favorite part of the videos are when they have the parody music videos at the end with TLC or Puff Daddy songs about science. My kids always say things like "Why are they wearing overalls/brightly colored, polyester pants/weird braids all over their head." #90slove

  • Bill Nye

  • Crash Course Kids

CONCLUSION

Do you teach Earth's cycles in your classroom? What are some resources that you enjoy using?

Google Classroom science lessons

Some products that I mentioned available in my TPT store:

Google Classroom science lessonsGoogle Classroom science lessonsGoogle Classroom science lessonsTeach Earth Cycles in the Classroom with this "Reasons for the Seasons" activity. Students will learn about the revolution of the Earth around the sun, moon phases, Earth's rotation, and tides. Also, find Earth's cycle ideas for interactive notebook study guides, read alouds, videos, and Google Classroom. Great ideas for your Earth's cycle science unit lesson plans.Teach Earth Cycles in the Classroom with this "Reasons for the Seasons" activity. Students will learn about the revolution of the Earth around the sun, moon phases, Earth's rotation, and tides. Also, find Earth's cycle ideas for interactive notebook study guides, read alouds, videos, and Google Classroom. Great ideas for your Earth's cycle science unit lesson plans.


Teach Earth Cycles in the Classroom with this "Reasons for the Seasons" activity. Students will learn about the revolution of the Earth around the sun, moon phases, Earth's rotation, and tides. Also, find Earth's cycle ideas for interactive notebook study guides, read alouds, videos, and Google Classroom. Great ideas for your Earth's cycle science unit lesson plans.


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