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Daylength, as it changes through the year

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about the daylength changes across the year.

'Daylength, as it changes through the year' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Earth and Space

Curriculum subtopic:  Earth's Rotation: Day and Night

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Although the length of a day is always the same, the amount of daylight we receive changes across the year.

 

Clock

 

We receive more daylight hours in summer. In winter, the days are shorter.

 

Over the year, our seasons change, spring, summer, autumn and winter. We notice seasonal changes in the weather, day length and temperature.

 

Tree through the seasons

 

Let's have a look at how the length of our days is affected by our journey around the Sun.

Match up these seasonal weather trends.

Column A

Column B

spring
freezing temperatures, snow and ice
summer
rain showers, warmer temperatures
autumn
windy, wet and cool
winter
hot and dry

Match up these day length changes.

Column A

Column B

spring
shortest days, longest nights
summer
shorter days, longer nights
autumn
longest days, shortest nights
winter
longer days, shorter nights

A day is a measure of how long it takes the Earth to...

travel around the sun

travel around the moon

rotate once

Sunrise is the time when the Sun...

appears above the horizon

is overhead

comes out from behind the clouds

The Sun rises in the... 

North

South

East

West

Sunset is the time when...

the sky looks pink and orange

the moon comes out

the Sun disappears

The Sun always sets in the... 

North

South

East

West

Half way through the day, at noon, the Sun is...

in the North

in the South

at its lowest point

at its highest point

The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West because the Earth spins... 

fast

clockwise

anticlockwise

  • Question 1

Match up these seasonal weather trends.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

spring
rain showers, warmer temperatures
summer
hot and dry
autumn
windy, wet and cool
winter
freezing temperatures, snow and i...
EDDIE SAYS
So, if we start off with Spring, as days are beginning to get longer, the weather is warming up (as there's more sunshine per day) and there are often 'Spring showers'. Summer temperatures are definitely the hottest of the year, on average, and it's often the driest season (but not every year!). In the autumn, as days get shorter, there is less sunshine so it gets cooler, and it's often quite wet. The shortest days (and longest nights) mean it's winter-time (little sun's warmth per day) and so now's the time of freezing temperatures and the risk of snow and ice.
  • Question 2

Match up these day length changes.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

spring
longer days, shorter nights
summer
longest days, shortest nights
autumn
shorter days, longer nights
winter
shortest days, longest nights
EDDIE SAYS
Again, starting in the Spring, the Northern Hemisphere is seeing more sunshine each day and so the days are getting longer. That carries on through the summer, as we spend longer (per 24 hours) in the Sun's light. Nights are much shorter now (only about 6 hours long). As that journey around the Sun continues, the Northern Hemisphere now begins to see less of the Sun per day, so that's increasingly shorter days and longer nights. In winter, it's very cold simply because we spend more time (night) facing away from the Sun's warmth than we do facing the Sun (day). Days are as little as 7 hours long.
  • Question 3

A day is a measure of how long it takes the Earth to...

CORRECT ANSWER
rotate once
EDDIE SAYS
The Earth spins completely on its axis once every 24 hours. That means different parts of the planet move into or out of the Sun's light during that time.
  • Question 4

Sunrise is the time when the Sun...

CORRECT ANSWER
appears above the horizon
EDDIE SAYS
You probably know that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Basically, as the Earth spins, the part you're living on spins into the Sun's light - that's what's happening when we see it "rising above the horizon" - it's just us moving around into the light. It's hard to visualise, so find one of the many videos online to help you watch what's going on.
  • Question 5

The Sun rises in the... 

CORRECT ANSWER
East
EDDIE SAYS
We navigate and describe position using the movement of the Sun. We say it rises in the East because the Earth is spinning anti-clockwise.
  • Question 6

Sunset is the time when...

CORRECT ANSWER
the Sun disappears
EDDIE SAYS
OK, some sunsets are very beautiful, but sunset is the time when the Sun disappears below the horizon. That means that our part of the planet has spun out of the Sun's light and into the shadow of the other side of the Earth.
  • Question 7

The Sun always sets in the... 

CORRECT ANSWER
West
EDDIE SAYS
OK, are you getting there? If you think of the Sun's light streaming out and the Earth in some of that light, as our bit of the Earth spins round into the darkness (caused by the other side of our planet), we see the last rays of that light as we look to the west. Again, it's easier to see on a video clip, so go and find one!
  • Question 8

Half way through the day, at noon, the Sun is...

CORRECT ANSWER
at its highest point
EDDIE SAYS
In winter, the Sun does not climb as high in the sky as in summer, but halfway through the day, the Sun has reached its highest point. In summer it is overhead.
  • Question 9

The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West because the Earth spins... 

CORRECT ANSWER
anticlockwise
EDDIE SAYS
Imagine looking down on the Earth towards the North Pole. The Earth will be spinning ANTICLOCKWISE or WEST TO EAST.
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