The Shadow of a Gnomon Along a Year: Routine Observations and Teaching of Apparent Motion of the Sun and the Four Seasons
Many misconceptions are recognized among the various groups of students, especially in the elementary school. Among them, the apparent motion of the Sun, in spite of its daily occurrence, is subject to varied interpretations. Thus, the observation and recording of the motion of the stars in the celestial vault is a necessary task for astronomy education. The work presented here proposes the presentation of the results of observations of the apparent movement of the sun by marking the shadow of a vertical gnomon by the students in a class of sixth graders of elementary rural school of Paraná. The project itself was conducted in four stages, on dates near the March equinox, the June solstice, the
September equinox and the December solstice. In addition, lectures were developed in the classroom. Such methods sought to build concepts around the apparent movement of the Sun and the alternation of the seasons. Given the results of the activities, an evaluation was applied and the data demonstrated a desired student learning such as: the recognition of the cardinal points, the description of the apparent solar motion and the occurrence of the seasons and their alternation from astronomical observations at naked eye.