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What causes day and night?

Key Stage 3, Science, QCA Scheme of work

Unit 7L.1 The solar system and beyond (Year 7)    

Prior Learning

At Key Stage 2 students will have considered the evidence for the sun, Earth and moon being spherical. They should be familiar with using models to show their relative sizes.


By the end of the lesson:

Lesson Plan


The true and false exercise could be done in two teams, alternating who answers and noting points for correct answers, or as individuals. Alternatively, paper based student sheet version could be done individually, or in pairs, and stuck into book.

Main Body

Do classic demo of half the Earth in light and half in shade to show day and night and show animation of same setup. Use the worksheet to record into exercise books.

Discuss temperature variation for day and night. If possible use light sensor to compare the difference between light and shadow, and discuss. (If your light source produces enough heat you may be able to use a sensitive temperature sensor if the distances are short enough)


Using heads and tails worksheet exercise, get the students to complete the sentences.