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Rochester Museum and Science Center, Strasenburgh Planetarium


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 23 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, Central & Western NY


YouTube Video

Earth's Seasons

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  • This video explains how the tilt of the Earth and its position in orbit around the Sun cause the four seasons.
  • Students will learn about the March and September equinoxes and why the Northern and Southern hemispheres get different amounts of daylight during the June and December solstices.
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.
  • The animation helps to reinforce lessons about the seasons and how the Earth moves around the Sun.

Additional Prerequisites

  • 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 direction throughout the year as it orbits the Sun and that is why Polaris is the North Star.
  • This is a good video to show after doing a physical seasons modeling activity.
  • Other resources on this topic include this Khan Academy video about 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.
  • Science
    • ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
      • 8.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.
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 6.ESS2.5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
      • 6.ESS2.6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • Related Resources


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