Modeling the Seasons

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
This activity provides instructions for learners to create models of the Earth and then to model a "day" on Earth as well as modeling the seasons. Parent web site about ancient observatories and Chaco Canyon (where the Chacoan and Anasazi peoples lived) gives the educator the option to add cultural and historical components to the activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 150 – 200 watt light bulb (not frosted) or a flashlight
  • lamp or socket for the bulb
  • extension cord
  • room that can be made dark
  • styrofoam balls
  • large straws or funnel
  • rubber bands
  • 5.5 oz flexible plastic cups
  • scissors
  • rolls of tape
  • thumbtacks or sticky dots
  • protractors
  • rulers with centimeters


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
      • Days
      • Seasons
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Lambertson, Lori


  • All rights reserved, The Exploratorium,