Total Duration: 
91 to 120 Minutes 
Materials and Resources: 
Materials

Technology Resources Needed: 
Technology is not required for this activity; however, a search engine could be utilized to access information pertaining to the activity. 
Background/Preparation: 
Background Information: “The temperature of the Earth's atmosphere comes from the Sun's radiant energy warming the Earth's surface. The weather, climate, and seasons of a given area of the Earth depend on the temperature, which measures the atmospheric energy." In this activity, you will model how the directness of sunlight affects the heating of the earth’s atmosphere (at the equator). You will demonstrate that the earth’s shape has a direct effect on the unequal heating of the atmosphere. You will discover how the tilt of the earth’s axis affects the amount of sunlight that reaches different regions of the earth’s surface thus causing different seasons.” Explain: Background Information The Background Information above links to Chapter 4: Angle of Light Rays and Surface Distribution: A StructuredInquiry Activity Page 19: Probing Further: would be a good Formative Assessment Activity to gauge student awareness prior to the lesson. Page 22: Background Information for Teacher is an excellent resource for information prior to planning lesson. Prior to lab: The teacher should set up each station or area with ~3 feet of masking tape, 2 rulers, 1 flashlight, 1 sheet of graph paper, 1 thermometer, stopwatch, and 6 different colors of pencils/markers/crayons. Skills students should know: Students should be able to correctly use a ruler, be able to read a thermometer, use a stopwatch, be able to correctly set up a graph (including creating scales for the x and yaxis as well as all labels and title), plot a graph (line and bar), be able to use a search engine such as Google. Knowledge the students should understand: Students should have a basic understanding of seasons relationship to the 23.5^{o} tilt of the Earth’s axis, solar angles and solar radiation, a basic understanding of the Cosine Projection Effect. The picture (PICTURE page 1) represents the solar angels at noon, 2 o’clock, and 4 o’clock. Notice the solar shadow on the paper is elongating. Use this information to explain the Cosine Projection Effect. (Cosine Projection Effect: When you tilt a surface away from a beam of light, you spread the same density of light across a larger area.) Also use this information to explain the mathematical relationship (inverse) of the sun’s angle (surface sunlight) to intensity and distribution.
This lab is designed to be performed before a detailed explanation is provided to students. The gathering of the data, as well as graphing of the data, is key prior to teacher explanation. After graphing has occurred (teacher may have to assist in scaling) on all 3 graphs, then the teaching moment can occur. It is recommended that the teacher perform the lab in advance. This will allow the teacher to gather a data set that can be graphed in advance to use as the teaching template. NOTE: not all students will get the optimal data sets so having one ready to display on smart board or projector is easier than trying to find student ones that meet the criteria.
What should be seen: line graphs will vary but there should be an increase or constant line over time. With the perpendicular increasing, the most (90^{o} angle) and the horizontal increasing the least (180^{o} angle) and the 6in above table (~45^{o} angle) being in the middle. The curvature should be similar to the perpendicular with their choice being in between. The bar graph of the temperature should be similar in height. This graph shows the perpendicular the highest with the horizontal being the lowest. The perpendicular temperature represents summer with the 6in being fall/spring and the horizontal representing winter. Fall/Spring being similar in average temperature range can be shown as the same graph plot. You can also use this to represent times of day with 90^{o} being noon and 6in above table being ~ 4 PM and 180^{o} being dusk. Explain to students that the solar radiation decreases as the solar angle decreases. The third graph is the illuminated boxes vs angle. This should show the angle increases as the number of boxes illuminated increases. Explain that this means that as the solar angle increases the surface illumination increases. Together these two data sets show the Cosine Projection Effect as solar radiation increases the surface are affected decreases and as the solar radiation decreases the surface increases. This mathematical relationship is known as an inverse relationship (see definition of Cosine Projection Effect above). 
Before Strategy/ Engage: Group students by 2 or 3 to do the lab activity – in class. Have students create flash cards of vocabulary and the essential questions. (This can be used to prepare for an assessment later.) I have students do the Vocabulary and Essential Questions the night before the lab activity so they are “preloaded” with some information prior to the activity. Vocabulary: Climate Concentrated Cosine Projection Effect Fall equinox Infrared rays Perpendicular Radiant energy Radio waves Spring equinox Summer solstice Troposphere Ultraviolet rays Visible light. Weather Winter solstice X rays During Strategy/Explore/Explain 1. Tape the ruler along the side of the flashlight so that a 6inch (15cm) section of the ruler extends past the lamp end of the flashlight. 2. Lay the graph paper on a table. 3. Hold the flashlight perpendicular to the paper so that the free end of the ruler is on the edge of the paper and the flashlight is over the paper. 4. Darken the room and turn on the flashlight. 5. Place the thermometer in the brightest part of the light. Wait 2 minutes and then start recording the temperature (record the initial temperature and then record every minute for 5 minutes) on the data chart. 6. Observe the number of squares covered on the paper by the inner bright circle of light. Record the number of squares on the data chart. 7. Tilt the ruler down so the back end of the flashlight is about 6 inches (15 cm) above the table. Use the other ruler to help gauge distance and stabilize flashlight. 8. Place the thermometer in the brightest part of the light. Wait 2 minutes then start recording the temperature (record the initial temperature and then record every minute for 5 minutes) on the data chart. 9. Again, observe the number of squares covered by the light. Record the number of squares on the data chart. Try New Approaches How does the curvature of the Earth affect the Sun's light rays? 10. Use the flashlight from the experiment; lay it on a table with the attached flashlight/ruler (the 6 inches are on the table) extending over the table edge. 11. Make a large cylinder out of the graph paper by overlapping the short ends. 12. Hold the cylinder vertically at the end of the ruler. 13. Place the thermometer in the brightest part of the light. Wait 2 minutes and then start recording the temperature (record the initial temperature and then record every minute for 5 minutes) on the data chart. 14. Observe the number of squares that are lit on the curved paper. Record the number of squares on the data chart. 15. Then move the cylinder slightly to the left or right so that the light grazes the edge of the cylinder. Again, observe the number of lit squares. Record the number of squares on the data chart. Design Your Own Experiment 16. At this point, your group should discuss a good experimental design to answer the question as to why the atmosphere above the equator is warmest. Record your design procedures in the space below. 17. Using the materials that you have been provided, test your design procedure. 18. Sketch a simple illustration of your procedural setup (example: Figure 1 as an example) 19. Place the thermometer in the brightest part of the light. Wait 2 minutes and then start recording the temperature (record the initial temperature and then record every minute for 5 minutes) on the data chart. 20. Observe the number of illuminated squares on the paper. Record the number of squares on the data chart. After Strategy/Explain, Elaborate: Graphing: 1. Using the data that was collected on the student data sheet, please create a line graph the time (xaxis) versus temperature (yaxis) for each of the 6 designs on the graph paper below. Use a different color to represent each design. *Create a KEY to indicate which design is which color. Also, ensure that you label the graph's axes and title correctly. 2. Using the data from the student data chart, create a bar graph of the 6 designs (xaxis) vs temperature at 5 min (yaxis). Ensure that you label the graph's axes and title correctly. 3. Review the student data chart again, is there any other way to classify the data into a single graph? When your group has decided on the data and graph type, use the graph paper below to graph your information. Ensure that you label the graph's axes and title correctly. 
Attachments: **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. 
Assessment Strategies 
Assess/Evaluate: The following Formative Assessment questions are the last step of the lab activity. This should be completed by the students in groups and turned in with their lab activity. Formative Assessment Questions: 3. The number of daylight hour’s changes during the year. The more daylight hours during the day, the more radiant energy the Earth's surface receives. The day with the most daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere is the first day of summer, which is on or about June 21. This day is the summer solstice. Find out more about the changing number of daylight hours during the year. (a) What and when are the spring and fall equinoxes, and the winter solstice? (b) How does the Earth's tilt cause different seasons? (c) What is the difference between the angle of the Sun's rays in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres on these dates (listed in a)? (d) What is the general difference in their atmospheric temperatures (use your cities data for the dates listed in Part A)? TABLE page 5 Questions with Answers:
Part A: Part C:
Part B: 23.5^{o }tilt angle. “Many people believe that Earth is closer to the sun in the summer and that is why it is hotter. And, likewise, they think Earth is farthest from the sun in the winter. Although this idea makes sense, it is incorrect. It is true that Earth’s orbit is not a perfect circle. It is a bit lopsided. During part of the year, Earth is closer to the sun than at other times. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are having winter when Earth is closest to the sun and summer when it is farthest away! Compared with how far away the sun is, this change in Earth's distance throughout the year does not make much difference to our weather. There is a different reason for Earth's seasons. Earth's axis is an imaginary pole going right through the center of Earth from "top" to "bottom." Earth spins around this pole, making one complete turn each day. That is why we have day and night, and why every part of Earth's surface gets some of each. Earth has seasons because its axis doesn't stand up straight.”
Part D: Season General Atmospheric Temperatures (Alabama  Mobile) degrees F 2016 data High Low Average Spring equinox 72.2 49.8 61
Fall equinox 85.7 71.3 78.5
Summer solstice 89.7 66.2 77.95
Winter solstice 61.7 41.5 51.6
ANSWERS CAME FROM: Part B: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/seasons/en/ Part A and C: https://www.wikipedia.org/ Part A and C: http://www.dictionary.com/ Questions 1 and 2: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/pdf/245895main_MeteorologyTeacherResCh4.r3.pdf Part D: http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/mobile/alabama/unitedstates/usal0899
For a more Summative Assessment, the following questions can be incorporated into a quiz or into the COS 5 Unit test.
Base your answers to the following questions on the diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagrams, labeled A, B, and C, represent equalsized portions of the Sun’s rays striking Earth’s surface at 23.5° N latitude at noon at three different times of the year. The angle at which the Sun’s rays hit Earth’s surface and the relative areas of Earth’s surface receiving the rays at the three different angles of insolation are shown. PICTURE page 1

Acceleration: 
Acceleration/Elaborate/Extend: Switch your design with another groups design and evaluate each other’s design with the criteria below: 1. Following their procedure, would you be able to replicate their design? Please cite specifics on how to improve their procedures. 2. Evaluate their drawing of their design. Does it adequately represent what they said to do in their procedures? Please cite specifics on how to improve their drawing. Please keep in mind not everyone is an artist. 
Intervention: 
Intervention: Here are some suggestions for students who need extra assistance: Introduce the assignment in sequential steps Check for student understanding of instructions Check on progress often in the first few minutes of work Provide time suggestions for each task Provide a checklist for long detailed tasks Assign a peer helper to check understanding of directions Assign a peer helper to read important directions and essential information Assign a peer tutor to record material dictated by the student Allow small group work 
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with shortterm memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.
Presentation of Material  Environment 
Time Demands  Materials 
Attention  Using Groups and Peers 
Assisting the Reluctant Starter  Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior 