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Rochester Museum and Science Center, Strasenburgh Planetarium


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Earth's Seasons

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  • This video explains how the tilt of the Earth and its position in the revolution around the sun cause the four seasons.
  • Students will learn why all parts of Earth get equal amounts of daylight during the March Equinox and September Equinox and why the Northern and Southern hemispheres get different amounts of daylight during the June solstice and December solstice.
Teaching Tips


  • This video will be helpful for visual learners because it shows the Earth's position on its axis and in relation to the Sun.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is a good video to show after doing a physical seasons modeling activity. 
  • Teachers may want to provide students with a summary or guide of what they should observe in the animation.
  • Teachers should emphasize that the orbit of the Earth around the Sun is only slightly elliptical.


  • Earth science classes could use this video to start several discussions. Students could talk about the fact that the tilt of Earth does not change throughout the year as it orbits the Sun or that during the Spring and Autumn equinox night there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of the night everywhere on the planet.
  • Other resources on this topic include this Khan Academy video on Earth's tilt and the seasons and this resource on the effect of latitude on climate
Scientist Notes
This resource includes a 2-minute video describing why the seasons are the way they are on the planet Earth, as well as supporting tips and science notes. The video is clear and the supporting notes are thorough. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
      • MS-ESS1-1 Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
  • Related Resources


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