This is such a simple concept, yet SO many kids seem to forget it from year to year. If you are teaching about day and night, time zones, sunrise and sunset this might be a fun addition to your classroom!
I've always modeled day and night using a lamp (sun) and a globe so that kids could see how the Earth spinning West to East causes only 50% of the planet to experience daytime. However, I think the KIDS need to manipulate a model in order for it to be truly memorable. Since I didn't have 10 globes available, I decided to get crafty and make some mini day and night models using globe stress balls! (These can be purchased online for dirt cheap. Link in directions)
1) The paper template (print it here for free) shows 12 am, 12 pm, 6 pm and 6 am.
2) I glued it to a small piece of cardboard for each group
3) I attached the stress ball using nail.
4) The globe stress ball can be turned to model the Earth's rotation!
5) The kids always welcome a chance to use their own devices, which worked perfectly to represent sunlight in our simulation!
For more detailed directions, student questions and the free printable template, click here!