Heavenly Bodies, Earth & Phenomena

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

How do relative relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun cause the phases, tides, and eclipses?  In this course, students are introduced to the movement of the Earth and Moon and discover how scientists use this knowledge to understand and predict natural phenomena.  Students will use various interactive activities and modelling to help them consolidate their understanding.

Background Information:

For tens of thousands of years, Indigenous Australians have used their knowledge of astronomy to help them in their daily lives. Today, we have a much more detailed understanding of astronomy, as current scientific knowledge is the result of careful observation of celestial objects over thousands of years. But how does this knowledge help us in our daily lives? Have you ever wondered why seasons are different in different parts of the world? Or why sometimes the tide at the beach is much higher than at other times? These phenomena can be explained by the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun. The Sun is at the centre of our solar system and the Earth revolves around it. The Moon in turn revolves around the Earth. These movements have a number of interesting and unusual effects on Earth that we will learn about in this course.

Year Level:  7 – 8

Prior Knowledge:

Students need a basic understanding of our solar system. This course builds on students’ knowledge of the Earth’s place in the solar system covered in the Level 5 Earth and Space sciences curriculum.

Course Connections:

Does this course link to other Ecolinc programs?

This course is a stand alone learning experience.

Learning Intentions:

In this course, students will:

• discover that Indigenous peoples were some of the earliest astronomers.
• distinguish between lunar and solar eclipses.
• learn how seasons occur on Earth.
• discover how the Moon causes tides.

Estimated Duration: 1 hour

Victorian Curriculum:

Science – Earth and space sciences

  • Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and the Moon (VCSSU099)

Geography – Place, space and interconnection

  • Identify, analyse and explain spatial distributions and patterns and identify and explain their implications (VCGGC100)

Course Creator:  Jo Tate   

(Image: ABC Education)