Earth’s Rotation Inquiry

Earth’s Rotation Inquiry

One of our main focuses during inquiry this week was having students inquire into an explanation of the reasons for day and night on Earth. Most students had a firm grasp of the reasons, so the focus became on explaining the pattern with subject specific vocabulary: rotation, axis, poles.

Some common questions that popped up several times during the inquiry were Does Earth rotate clockwise or anticlockwise? Can we prove which direction Earth rotates?

As a class, we watched this beautiful time lapse video clip of the night sky and observed the apparent movement of stars across the sky.

Why do stars appear to move across the sky?

Student responses to the prompt can be seen below. Most concluded that Earth is rotating, which makes stars appear to move across the night sky.

The second prompt was asked following the first showing of the video: Which direction does Earth spin, clockwise or anticlockwise?

Based on evidence from the video, students concluded that Earth rotates anticlockwise.

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