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A woodland covered in snow

Why do we have seasons?

Prior Learning

In the previous lesson students thought about day and night, and that day is warm and night is cold.


By the end of the lesson:

  • All students will know that we have seasons because the Earth is tilted

  • Most students will know that the amount of heat and light we get from the sun in winter is less than that in summer

  • Some students will know that the Earth is tilted at an angle of about 23.5°


Mind-map words students associate with seasons. (Simplify to summer and winter for low ability groups)

Feedback to class highlighting those to do with temperature or light differences.

You will need:

  • Mind-map slide (use one of the slides from the PDF as a basis or draw on board) 

Main Activity

Recap the Earth rotates once anticlockwise on its axis, every 24 hours.

Use the football and torch to demonstrate the Earth moves round the sun and explain that this takes one year.

Introduce concept of tilt of Earth and how that means we don't get constant conditions throughout the year.

Use the globe to demonstrate the Earth year, focusing on the effect of the tilt.

Illustrate using the seasons animation.

Shine light at board at acute angle and discuss how the areas nearer the light are brighter than the areas further away. Relate this to the intensity of light on the globe in different seasons.

Label diagram to show seasons in the northern hemisphere.

You will need:

  • Football

  • Lamp or torch

  • Globe

  • Seasons animation

  • Seasons worksheet 

  • Seasons worksheet answers 


Ask the students to complete the crossword to assess their knowledge of seasons around the world.

Seasons crossword worksheet 

File nameFiles

File type



Seasons Animation


208 KB

Seasons Crossword Worksheet


140 KB

Seasons Worksheet Answers


266 KB

Seasons Mind-map Slide


185 KB

Seasons Worksheet


267 KB

Download all files