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Seasons

In this worksheet, students will read an explanation of how the different seasons occur and will then answer questions on it.

'Seasons' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Space Physics

Curriculum subtopic:   Seasons and the Earth's Tilt

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

As you know, it takes one year for the Earth to orbit the sun - that's 365.25 days (which is why those four quarters are added together every fourth year to give us an extra day - Leap Year!).  On that journey around the sun, the Earth is spinning and it is also tilted on its axis at an angle of 24: this is what creates the different seasons. Each half of the Earth is called a hemisphere and Europe (where the UK belongs) is in the northern hemisphere. When this is tilted towards the Sun, it is summer in Europe. Have a look at the four seasons diagram below. The equator separates the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres.

 

Seasons

 

When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun, it is winter in Europe. The Sun is not very high in the sky at midday and days are much shorter than nights. The southern hemisphere is slightly closer to the Sun during its summer and that's why summers in the southern hemisphere are often hotter than ones in the northern hemisphere.

 

In summer, the Sun feels hotter because its rays are much more concentrated than they are in the winter, as the Sun is higher in the sky. This is what makes the difference: each area of the land under the summer sun receives a more concentrated dose of sunshine.  Summer days are longer, so the Sun has more time to warm the surface of the Earth.

How long is a year on the Earth?

365 days

365.25 days

365.5 days

366 days

That number you chose in Q1 - what does it actually represent?

the time taken for the Earth to rotate once

the time taken for the moon to orbit the Earth

the time taken for the Earth to orbit the sun

Complete this sentence:

the time taken for the Earth to rotate once

the time taken for the moon to orbit the Earth

the time taken for the Earth to orbit the sun

Which season is it in the Northern Hemisphere when that hemisphere is fully angled towards the sun?

spring

summer

autumn

winter

When the Northern Hemisphere is fully angled towards the sun, what season is it in the Southern Hemisphere?

spring

summer

autumn

winter

Imagine the date is December 21st - nearly Christmas!  That is mid-winter day.  In one month's time, which of the following is true?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

days getting longer

days getting shorter

nights getting longer

nights getting shorter

Complete this sentence:

days getting longer

days getting shorter

nights getting longer

nights getting shorter

Look at these two diagrams:

 

Sunlight on Earth

 

They show how much sunlight falls on an area of the Earth's surface in summer and winter.

 

Use that information to complete this sentence:

days getting longer

days getting shorter

nights getting longer

nights getting shorter

Here are the sunrise and sunset times for the UK:

 

Sunrise = 05:00

 

Sunset = 21:00

 

Use those times to suggest which season it is likely to be at that time.

spring

summer

autumn

winter

This last question is a little harder.

 

Here are those sunrise/sunset times again:

 

Sunrise = 05:00

 

Sunset = 21:00

 

Those times means that the sun is up for 16 hours, so how long is the night?  Type your answer (just a number) into the box.

  • Question 1

How long is a year on the Earth?

CORRECT ANSWER
365.25 days
EDDIE SAYS
So, we call it "a year" but it represents the time taken for us to completely orbit the sun - 365.25 of our "days" (one spin). That means that we have to add up those quarter days and add them into a whole day every fourth year (those divisible by 4) and have an extra day: February 29th. So, if you're born on Feb. 29, when is your birthday when it ISN'T a leap year?!
  • Question 2

That number you chose in Q1 - what does it actually represent?

CORRECT ANSWER
the time taken for the Earth to orbit the sun
EDDIE SAYS
One year - 365.25 days - is the time it takes the Earth to go around (orbit) the sun once, spinning as we go. Those spins represent days and, of course, a mo(o)nth is how long it takes for the moon to orbit the Earth.
  • Question 3

Complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Our seasons are all because the Earth is tilted. Let's imagine it wasn't: it's straight up and down, poles at the top and bottom. Then, going around the sun, each part of the planet's surface would receive the same amount of sunlight and warmth all the time, right around the sun. There would be no seasons. Think about it.....
  • Question 4

Which season is it in the Northern Hemisphere when that hemisphere is fully angled towards the sun?

CORRECT ANSWER
summer
EDDIE SAYS
So, the Northern Hemisphere is fully angled (tilted) towards the sun. That means it's getting maximum warmth on each square km of its surface. Must be summer then!
  • Question 5

When the Northern Hemisphere is fully angled towards the sun, what season is it in the Southern Hemisphere?

CORRECT ANSWER
winter
EDDIE SAYS
So, if it's summer in the N. Hemisphere (fully tilted towards the sun, maximum warmth), then the S. Hemisphere must be the opposite: less sun per day, shorter days - winter.
  • Question 6

Imagine the date is December 21st - nearly Christmas!  That is mid-winter day.  In one month's time, which of the following is true?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
days getting longer
nights getting shorter
EDDIE SAYS
One month after mid-winter day, which is the shortest day, our part of the Earth is spending a little bit longer in the sun's light/warmth than before. That means that the days are getting longer and, if that's so, the nights must be getting shorter. It's tough to visualise this, so why not check out some of the good online videos that bring this to life?
  • Question 7

Complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Going between December and April, the N. Hemisphere is spending more and more of its 'day' in the sun's light and warmth, so days are getting longer and, consequently, it's getting warmer too. Just think about that for a mo - you'll see it makes sense!
  • Question 8

Look at these two diagrams:

 

Sunlight on Earth

 

They show how much sunlight falls on an area of the Earth's surface in summer and winter.

 

Use that information to complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In summer, the sun's warmth is more concentrated on a smaller area of the Earth's surface, compared with winter. In winter, that same shaft of sunlight is now spread out over a greater area, so each square km of the surface receives a smaller dose of warmth. Again, it's hard to 'see', so an online video may really help.
  • Question 9

Here are the sunrise and sunset times for the UK:

 

Sunrise = 05:00

 

Sunset = 21:00

 

Use those times to suggest which season it is likely to be at that time.

CORRECT ANSWER
summer
EDDIE SAYS
The sun rising at 5 in the morning and setting at 9 in the evening? Think about walking to and from school. That's definitely not winter! In fact, it's summer and these are typical sunrise/sunset times for July, here in the UK.
  • Question 10

This last question is a little harder.

 

Here are those sunrise/sunset times again:

 

Sunrise = 05:00

 

Sunset = 21:00

 

Those times means that the sun is up for 16 hours, so how long is the night?  Type your answer (just a number) into the box.

CORRECT ANSWER
8
EDDIE SAYS
As you know a day is 24 hours long, so subtract 16 hours from 24 hours and what's left? 8 hours! 24 - 16 = 8. Or, you could look at it another way - how many hours is it from 21:00 to 05:00 the next day?
---- OR ----

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