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Space: How Big is the Solar System and its Place in the Universe?

Objectives:

  • The students will learn about the size of the Solar System.

  • The students will learn about the Milky Way and other galaxies in the Solar System.

  • The students will be able to describe the four types of galaxies.

  • The students will be able to compare the size of the Milky Way to other galaxies in the Universe.

  • The students will be able to explain the Hubble Telescope’s importance and contribution to science.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the Solar System and our galaxy. Do you think our galaxy is the largest?

  • Do you think there are other galaxies in the Universe?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about the Milky Way Galaxy?

  • Are there other galaxies in the Universe?

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: 

  • Introductory Activity: “Traveling Through Space” from DustBunny.com

(Visit the Website: http://www.dustbunny.com/afk/planets/howbig.html)

**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:

  • The size of the Solar System.

  • The different galaxies that are in the Universe.

  • The three different types of galaxies.

  • The Hubble Telescope’s importance and contribution to science.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • Next visit the website: “How Big is the Solar System?”

(Source: http://www.dustbunny.com/afk/planets/howbig.html). The website describes a virtual tour through the Solar System, starting with the Sun and ending on Pluto. The teacher should introduce the “Space Walk” to the class and explain that they will be “traveling through space”. The teacher should read through the description under each planet and discuss the length of time it would take get from planet to planet. The teacher should allow for student comments/observations.   

  • After the “Space Walk” is done, 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 67: How Big is the Solar System and its place in the Universe?

** This page reviews basic information about the Solar System, including its size**

  • Page 68: Galaxies in the Universe

**This page reviews galaxies and the different types of galaxies**

  • Pages 69: Our Galaxy: The Milky Way

**This page reviews the galaxy we live in, the Milky Way**

  • Pages 70: Moons in the Solar System

**This page reviews Edwin Hubble, the history of the Hubble Telescope, and its contribution to science. The teacher should show the video: “Hubble Space Telescope-Video Learning-WizScience.com

(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MjD0Ys7mhw&t=52s)**

  • After the information has been presented, the students will participate in the activity: “My Road Trip Through the Universe”. The teacher should ask the students to think back to the introductory activity of traveling through space. For this activity, the students will be creating a “road map” or a “travel brochure” of what it is like to travel through space.

  • The idea of the brochure is to try and convince potential “vacationers” to take a cruise through the solar system.

 

Closure

  • The students will share their brochure with the whole group, with partners, or as a gallery walk.

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

10 minutes

Introductory Activity: “Traveling Through Space”

(Visit the Website: http://www.dustbunny.com/afk/planets/howbig.html)

  • Read through the description under each planet.

  • Allow for student questions/comments/observations about the content.

20 Minutes

Size of the Solar System | Galaxies in the Universe | Milky Way | Hubble Telescope

  • Instruct the students to open to page 67 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 67-70.

15 Minutes

Activity: “My Road Trip Through the Universe”

  • Give each student a piece of cardstock/construction paper.

  • The teacher should ask the students to think back to the introductory activity and videos of traveling through space.

  • For this activity, the students will be creating a “road map” or a “travel brochure” of what it is like to travel through the solar system.

  • The idea of the brochure is to try and convince potential “vacationers” to take a cruise through the solar system.

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • The students will share their brochure with the whole group, with partners, or as a gallery walk.

 

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.