Solar Spin


When it's morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it's midnight in Melbourne, Australia! How can that be? In this Move Crew, you'll demonstrate how it happens!


What You'll Need:
A flashlight

How to play:
Phase 1
Pick one kid to be the Sun. That kid uses a flashlight that will shine directly on the "Earth."
Now pick two kids to play two halves of the Earth. One kid will be the Western Hemisphere: that's the half of the Earth that contains North and South America. The other will be the Eastern Hemisphere: Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The two Hemispheres should stand back to back, and link hands. Then they can start slowly walking around the Sun in a circle. That's just like the Earth's orbit.

Meanwhile, the Sun shines its light on the Earth. Keep still and shine your light directly on the kids playing the Earth. (In real life, the Sun shines in all directions, of course.)

Once you've got the hang of this, move on to phase 2!

Phase 2
Besides orbiting the sun, the Earth also rotates. To do this, the two kids playing the Earth should spin around in little circles, like a top. Keep on orbiting the Sun at the same time, and try not to get dizzy!

Now, pick two kids to live in the Western Hemisphere, and two kids to live in the Eastern Hemisphere. Have them sit on opposite sides of the Earth?s orbit.

Whenever their "hemisphere" faces the Sun, it's daytime, so the kids should act awake: stand up, stretch, yawn, jump up and down, and so on.

Whenever their "hemisphere" faces away from the Sun, it?s night-time, so the kids should lie down and pretend to sleep. (But keep one eye open so you know when it's daytime again!)

See how smoothly you can do this. If it's a piece of cake, try Phase 3!

Phase 3
If you want a tougher challenge, have all four kids pick a different spot on the Earth. (For example, they might pick the Western Hemisphere?s left kneecap, or the place where the two Hemispheres join hands). Each kid should get up and go to sleep as day breaks and night falls in their spot.


What happens when two towns are on the opposite sides of the Earth? Can it ever be morning in both spots at the same time? Why or why not?

Do you have relatives in another Time Zone? Have you ever called them and found out it was another time of day where they live? Why do you think that happens?

If you've got your Case Journals, go ahead and answer the questions in it now!