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The Sun - The Center of it All

Objectives:

  • The students will be able to explain that the Sun is the center of the Solar System.

  • The students will be able to define heliocentric.

  • The students will be able to explain the Heliocentric Model of the Universe.

  • The students will be able to describe gravitational pull.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the Sun. What do you know about the mass of the Sun?

  • In terms of weight, is the Sun heavy or light?        

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about the Sun's place within the Solar System?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

Bingo Cards Generated from www.osiric.com: http://osric.com/bingo-card-generator/?title=1st+

**When the unit is over, download the final assessment for all of the lessons on space for free.

**Here's the answer key.**

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Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • Why the Sun is the center of the Solar System.

  • What gravitational pull is.

  • The definition of the term “heliocentric”.

  • What the Heliocentric Model of the Universe is.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • Prior to the start of the lesson, the teacher should set up the materials for the “Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?”. The teacher should take the bowl and wrap the cloth around the top. PUse the rubber band to ensure that the cloth stays on the bowl. Place the bowl on a table (large enough for the entire class to stand around). Take the three balls and set them aside.

For assistance/ visualization, refer to the video: “Why Doesn’t the Moon Fall to Earth? Exploring Orbits and Gravity”

(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKXVRu6JL54)

  • For the first few minutes, the students will fill out the “What I Know About Eclipses” worksheet.

  • The teacher should begin class by gathering the students around the table with the materials for the introductory activity, “Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?” The teacher should explain that the bowl represents the Solar System, the large foam ball represents the Sun, and the smaller marbles represent the Earth and Mars. The teacher should take the large foam ball and place it in the center of the bowl. Explain that matter curves the space around it—in this case, the foam ball is quite heavy and it made a dip in the bowl. Next, the teacher should take the smaller marble representing the Earth and spin it around the Sun (as if it is orbiting). The teacher should ask the students what they observe about the planet. The students should notice that the planet is “orbiting” fast. Next, the teacher should take the marble that represents Mars and spin it around the Sun. The teacher should ask the students what the students observe about this planet. The students should notice that more force was needed to spin the planet so that it could get out of the dip. The teacher should explain that planets close to the Sun orbit faster than planets that are further away (the students should think back to the length of time it takes the inner planets to orbit vs. the outer planets) The teacher should explain that since the Sun has a large amount of mass, the planets are pulled towards it, which is why they orbit it. Now, the teacher should take “Sun” out of the bowl and roll one of the smaller marbles on the top. The marble should roll right off the top of the bowl. The teacher should explain that there is no gravity pulling it towards the center and that is why it didn’t stay on the top of the bowl. The teacher should explain that the planets would be fly off into outer space in a straight line. The Sun is important because it keeps the planets orbiting nicely.

**To help the students better understand the topic, the teacher could show them the video in which the experiment/activity was adapted from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKXVRu6JL54)**

  • After the introductory activity is done, the teacher will show the students the video: “Solar System- Planet Animation” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvSUPFZp7Yo). This video will show how the inner planets orbit faster than the outer planets, reinforcing the information presented during the introductory activity. the teacher will begin presenting the information on the Solar System. If it is possible, project each page of the teacher’s copy of the “All About the Solar System” Science Journal worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project.  The teacher’s copy of the journal has certain words/phrases that are bolded red and highlighted. It is important the teacher explain to the students those words/phrases are to be highlighted in their (students) journal. For this lesson, the teacher should review these pages:

    • Page 45: Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?

** This page reviews the information presented during the introductory experiment/activity**

  • Pages 46: Life Cycle of a Star

**This page reviews the Heliocentric Model of the Universe first theorized by Aristarchus and then by Nicolaus Copernicus **

  • After the information has been presented, the students will play a Bingo game. The teacher will give each student an “Outer Space Bingo” card and Bingo chips. The teacher will explain to the students that today they will be playing Bingo. Instruct the students to pick one word that they would like as their “Free Space.” Once all of the students are ready to start, the teacher should being playing the game.  

Closure

  • For the closure, the teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students. The teacher should also revisit the “Why Do Planets Orbit the Sun?” activity and review any questions the students may have.

  • The students will then fill out the “What I Learned About Sun’s Place in the Solar System” worksheet.

  • They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About Sun’s Place in the Solar System” page.

 **The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • “What I Know About the Sun’s Place in the Solar System” Worksheet

  • Introductory Activity: “Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?”

  • Discussion: Science Journal (Pages 45 & 46)

  • Activity: “Outer Space Bingo”

  • Discussion of Activity

10 minutes

Introductory Activity: “Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?”

  • Set up the materials prior to the start of class.

  • Instruct the students to stand around the table.

  • Perform the activity/experiment with the students. Explain the Sun’s importance to the orbits of the planets.

20 Minutes

Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun? | The Heliocentric Model of the Universe

  • Instruct the students to open to page 45 in their science journals.

  • Project each page of the science journal onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • The teacher copy has bolded red and highlighted words. The students will highlight those words in their science journal.

  • Begin presenting the information. The pages that will be presented include: pages 45 & 46.

15 Minutes

Activity: “Outer Space Bingo”

  • Give each student an “Outer Space Bingo” card and Bingo chips.

  • Explain to the students that today they will be playing Bingo.

  • Begin calling the words on the Bingo card.

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • The teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students. The teacher should also revisit the “Why Do Planets Orbit the Sun?” activity and review any questions the students may have.

  • The students will then fill out the “What I Learned About Sun’s Place in the Solar System” worksheet.

  • They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About Sun’s Place in the Solar System” page.

 **The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.