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Spaceship Earth    Mystery 3

Mystery 3 image

In this Mystery, students discover how the Sun’s path changes with the seasons.

How can the Sun tell you the season?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 17)
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Beginning Activity Prep

PHOTO #1 OF 5
What season is this? Come up with more than one reason for your answer. *Hint:* Pay attention to the time on the photo.

Kid on bike

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Beginning Exploration (2 of 17)

DISCUSS AS A CLASS:

What season do you think this is? Why?

Here's what we think:

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 17)

PHOTO #2 OF 5
What season is this? Come up with more than one reason for your answer. *Hint:* Does the mist give you a clue about the temperature?

Pumpkins

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Beginning Exploration (4 of 17)

DISCUSS AS A CLASS:

What season do you think this is? Why?

Here's what we think:

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Beginning Exploration (5 of 17)

PHOTO #3 OF 5
What season is this? Come up with more than one reason for your answer. *Hint:* Pay attention to the time on the photo.

SunsetWinter

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Beginning Exploration (6 of 17)

DISCUSS AS A CLASS:

What season do you think this is? Why?

Here's what we think:

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Beginning Exploration (7 of 17)

PHOTO #4 OF 5
What season is this? Come up with more than one reason for your answer. *Hint:* Pay attention to the time on the photo.

Flower

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Beginning Exploration (8 of 17)

DISCUSS AS A CLASS:

What season do you think this is? Why?

Here's what we think:

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Beginning Exploration (9 of 17)

PHOTO #5 OF 5
CHALLENGE: What season is this? Do you have any ideas? Take a look at the time and the shadow. (If you can't figure it out, don't worry--watch the next video to get a clue!)

Bench

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Beginning Exploration (10 of 17)
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Beginning Exploration (11 of 17)

Discuss: What changes did you see in the daytime sky over the course of the four seasons?

Here's what we saw...

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Beginning Exploration (12 of 17)
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Beginning Exploration (13 of 17)

Discuss: Here’s the bench you saw earlier. Now can you guess what season this photo was taken? Hint: Think about the time & the shadow.

Bench

See what we think...

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Beginning Exploration (14 of 17)
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Beginning Exploration (15 of 17)

PHOTO #6 OF 8: What season is it? Why do you think that?

Dog

See what we think...

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Beginning Exploration (16 of 17)

PHOTO #7 OF 8: What season is it? Why do you think that?

Shadows

See what we think...

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Beginning Exploration (17 of 17)

PHOTO #8 OF 8: What season is it? Why do you think that?

Sunsets

See what we think...

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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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Demonstration: Mark a Shadow

Changes in the Sun's position every day add up to big changes over months.

You can show this by marking the shadow of a stationary object at the same time of day once a week for a few weeks.

Mark the shadow of a flagpole with chalk on the blacktop or mark the shadow of the window frame with a post-it on the wall. Every week, the shadow will be in a new position.

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Extra Activity: Sky Dome, Part 2

SkyDome1

SkyDome2

Add the Sun's summer path and winter path to the Sky Dome that you made from instructions in Mystery 1 Extras.

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Supplies

You need:

Instructions:

Take your completed Sky Dome and add a second path, parallel to the existing one, but with the Sun lower in the sky. Label this "Dec" (for December)

Add a third path, also parallel to the existing one, but with the Sun higher in the sky. Label this "Jun" (for June)

Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

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sunsent by AdinaVoicu / cropped