An animated sequence that explores the daily cycle from day to night. The clip uses animated graphics to show how the relative positions of the Earth and Sun cause day and night. The spinning of the Earth on its axis is shown too, and the way the Moon is lit up by light from the Sun. We are told that the Earth spins on its axis once a day and that the Moon orbits the Earth about once a month. We are also shown that the Earth and Moon together orbit the Sun once a year.
After viewing, pupils could build simple models to explore how the turning of the Earth on its axis results in day and night. The children could use a ball to represent the Earth and a torch for the Sun. In a darkened room, if they place a sticker on the ball and spin the ball in the torch beam, sometimes the sticker is in full light, sometimes in half light and sometimes in darkness. The children could go on to experiment with shadows in the torch beam. You could ask pupils to make a simple figure from construction blocks. By changing the angle and position of the torch beam, how long a shadow can they get their figure to cast? And can they produce a situation where their figure casts no shadow at all?