This year we are starting to delve deeper into Marine Science and have found a curriculum for an iGCSE that we are going to follow. The first section covers The Earth and its Oceans so we’re kicking off our science year with this. The first part of the Curriculum looks at The Earth and its Structure. Instead of covering this all in 1 session, I’ve split it into two sessions. The first is here, looking at Earth in Space, reviewing the Solar System, Moon, Seasons, and Gravity all of which are important to why we have oceans on our planet and how those oceans work. So here you go our first session of Marine Science iGCSE The Earth in Space.
What Kids Will Learn in the Session
Your child will learn all about the Earth and it’s
- The earth is a planet orbiting the sun
- The position of the earth titled at an angle and its orbit being elliptical causes seasons
- The earth has a moon – a satellite that orbits it
- Gravity is the force that keeps the earth orbiting the sun and the moon the earth
Recommended Books for Learning About The Earth in Space
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There are plenty of books available that cover all the topics in this first part of the Marine Science iGCSE, and you may have some already on your book shelf. If not these are ones that I recommend and have found really informative using with my kids.
These Smithsonian Knowledge books, Planet Earth and Ocean cover all of the areas with great pictures and detail that we studied in the unit study. There is a little overlap between the two however both have more than enough information to make it worthwhile buying both. These are aimed at “tweens and early teens” there is fantastic information to form a springboard to get started delving deeper if your kids want to.
We’re waiting out for The Science of the Earth book (released Oct 2022) from DK and Smithsonian as looking at the flip-through and contents seems to go much deeper depth and will help form a more comprehensive understanding of not just marine science but Earth Science, Geography and Zoology all areas that as a family we are interested in studying further.
The Earth in Space
The first area for this unit study is all about the structure of the earth – from its place in the solar system, to how seasons occur and introducing Gravity! It’s great for getting your kids to recall some information that they probably already have as well as introducing some new ideas and activities.
We’ve split this first part into 4 sections with each section containing an activity idea that is great fun to do with the kids.
The Solar System and The Earth
Let’s go back to basics and understand that the earth is orbiting the sun, a planet in the solar system. The third one is the only one that is in the perfect place to allow the environment to flourish and life to evolve to what we see today.
Start with a quick review of where we sit in the Solar System.
This video from the National Geography YouTube Chanel is a fantastic way to cover that in under 5 minutes.
Orbits and Seasons
The earth goes around the sun in an orbit that is slightly elliptical, this orbit combined with the earth being titled causes seasons, and the earth rotating causes the day and night.
We loved this article on How does the Earth orbit the Sun? from the BBC Sky at Night online magazine as it explained more about the orbit, the tilt of the earth, and seasons as well as why stars change throughout the year one of the many rabbit holes that we have progressed down as we observe nature throughout the seasons.
Earth is the first planet in the solar system coming from the sun to have a moon and the only planet with just one moon.
The moon plays an important role in the oceans and it’s important to understand how it orbits the Earth, that gravity plays a part in keeping it around the earth and the phases of the moon.
This video goes into much more detail about the orbits as well as making predictions based on scientific theory of what could happen in billions of years. We really liked it for explaining about how we only ever see 1 face of the moon and an great introduction to tides and how they are formed.
If you watched the video above about the moon you will have heard about gravity and what it is. The moon, the Earth and the other planets in the solar system all depend on gravity to keep them orbiting the sun, as do we keeping our feet firmly on the ground.
Gravity is a force that is dependent on mass (not the weight of an object the mass of the object) and distance they are from each other.
Want a quick over view of gravity – check out this short video!
Facts to Remember
- The Earth orbits the sun because of gravitational pull
- The Earth is angled in its orbit at around 23.5°
- Each orbit takes 365.24 days to complete
- The angle of the Earth and elliptical orbit result in different seasons and climates on our planet
- The Moon orbits the Earth by the gravitational pull
- The gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth can be seen in the tides
- Because of the orbit of the moon around the Earth we have different phases of the moon
The next topic to be covered is all about the Structure of the Earth and is one of my favourites from teaching!