Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Fun: A Perfect Pair

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller + How Do the Seasons Change? by Melissa Stewart

Using a clever hours-of-light/darkness diagram at the top of each spread, Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights shows and describes the surprising changes in Arctic light throughout the year. The lyrical text includes not only messages about light and its partner, darkness, but also explains how a variety of wildlife responds to changing light and seasonal changes in the Arctic. Quietly beautiful realistic acrylic paintings often focus on animals within a landscape and are in perfect harmony with the text.

In How Do the Seasons Change?, the title question propels readers through a series of brief chapters that provide background information (how Earth orbits the sun, how Earth spins on its axis, how Earth’s tilt effects us, etc.) that eventually allows students to fully understand the topic and come up with the answer on their own. Photos and clear diagrams expand the text and reinforce the scientific explanations.

Related Activities
Have your students to create a table of sunrise and sunset times throughout the year for your area. Then ask them to make light and darkness diagrams similar to the ones in Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights.

Children love to learn by doing, so try this kinesthetic activity. Have all students stand and spin, pretending they are Earth. Then divide students into pairs. One member of each team should pretend to be the sun. The other should act like the Earth, spinning and moving around the sun at the same time. Then students should switch roles. Ask students to draw pictures of Earth moving around the sun.

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