Teaching Suggestions
Time, Seasons, and the Globe

The globe is a model of Earth. Each part reveals information about our planet. In this activity, students study the features of a globe: structure, movement, shapes, colors, lines, words, and numbers. They ask questions: Why is the globe tilted? What is this line? Why is it here?

Essential Question
What parts of a globe are related to
time and seasons?


Time and Seasons
on a Globe

Step-by-Step Instructions
1.  Pose the Challenge
Place students in small groups with a globe, index cards, and pencils. Invite them to think about the globe in a new way by posing a challenge:

"Solving mysteries takes special skills. You have to be able to examine something closely and ask lots of questions. The globe is a model of Earth. Each part of this model of our planet is designed to give us information about the world. How is a globe like our planet Earth?"

2. Guide Exploration
Give each group five minutes to study how the globe is constructed and zoom in on each of its parts: shapes, colors, lines, words, numbers, and other features. As they make discoveries encourage students to think aloud: What is this and why is it here? After they have time to explore, focus their search:

Which parts of the globe can be used to explain the Earth's daily cycle?
(the globe rotates on its axis, 24 hours for one full spin equals one day)
Which parts can be used to explain the Earth's seasonal cycles?
(the globe is tilted; the earth's tilt is the reason for seasons)
Where is the Prime Meridian and how does it relate to time?
(time zones; Universal Time: Greenwich Mean Time)

3. Listen for Sleuth-Speak
As students explore the globe searching for clues about how it can be used to learn about time and seasons on Earth, tell them you will be walking around and listening for sleuth-speak, where they're asking lots of questions:

Why is Earth tilted on the globe?
Why does a globe spin?
How long does it take for the Earth to spin once around the axis?
How is the spin of a globe related to Earth’s daily cycle?

As students study the shapes, colors, lines, words, numbers, and parts of a globe that might reveal information about seasons and time, be sure to have them think about what the globe might reveal about the Earth's position and movement in space, as well.

4. Record and Wrap-Up
Take time for a class discussion so that students have a chance to share discoveries, questions, and overall responses. Wrap up by having each student record 3-5 intriguing questions on an index card. Collect and seal the questions in an envelope. Let students know that the envelopes will be opened at the end of Mystery Class. When they are able to answer many of the questions, they will be amazed at how much they’ve learned as they searched for the secret sites.