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Achievement objective PEB 6-3

Students will:

  • investigate the interactions between the solar, lunar, and Earth cycles and the effect of these on Earth.


  • Links day and night to the Earth’s spin.
  • Links the seasons to Earth’s tilt relative to its orbit around the sun.
  • Uses models and experiments to show how the sun, by hitting the Earth’s surface at different angles at different times of the day, during different seasons, and at different latitudes, causes variations in temperature.
  • Uses models, animations, and diagrams to show how the phases of the moon and the tides are determined by the moon’s journey around Earth.
  • Models the interactions between features of the orbits of the sun, Earth, and moon, and draws valid conclusions about their effect on Earth's climate and weather.
  • Uses models and animations to show how the heating effect of the sun causes winds and surface currents in the Pacific Ocean.

Possible context elaborations

  • Observations of the differing lengths of day and night during the year.
  • The area of a sphere illuminated at different tilts by a light source.
  • Measurements show how the angle of the sun affects what heat hits a particular surface, depending on the time of day and year.
  • Making a sundial to track the sun’s movement and height throughout the year.
  • Time variations in published tide tables and their relationship to the moon's orbit.
  • Observations of the phases of the moon.

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the  NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more with NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Learning described by this objective could be assessed using one or more of these achievement standards:

  • science AS90954 1.15

Last updated September 15, 2020