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Eye on the Sun

Overview: The source of heat and light, the Sun is a great topic for investigation in your classroom.
Lesson Plans
The Sun Image
1. Pre-Assessment: Student Illustrations and Writing About the Sun
This unit on the Sun includes a number of assessment tools. The individual lessons contain work sheets to give on-going feedback on student comprehension.
     
The Sun Image  
2. The Sun: An Introduction
This lesson introduces the topic of the Sun. Students also begin making entries in their Science Journals.
     
The Sun Image  
3. How Big is the Sun? Exploring the Size and Scale of the Sun, Earth and Moon
Students will explore the relative sizes of the Sun, Earth and Moon as they make an impressive large-scale model for classroom use throughout the unit.
     
Shadow Image  
4. What Makes Shadows? Observing and Drawing Shadows
Students learn about shadows as they observe and draw the shadow of a classmate.
     
Sundials: Observing and Using Shadows
5. What Makes Day and Night? The Earth's Rotation
In this demonstration of day and night, students learn kinesthetically as they take on the role of the Earth orbiting the rotating Sun.
     
Sun and Earth Image  
6. Motion of the Sun and Earth: Using a Playground Model to Explore Rotation and Revolution
Using a playground model, students experience the rotation of the Sun and Earth, and the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.
     
Sun and Earth Image  
7. Motion of the Sun and Earth: Using a Classroom Model to Explore Rotation and Revolution
This activity provides students with a concrete model of the Sun and Earth and their motion. Students observe and manipulate a 3-D model of the Sun and Earth.
     
Adding the Moon Image  
8. Adding the Moon: Using a Playground Model to Explore the Movement of the Sun, Earth, and Moon
Students experience the rotation of the Earth and the Moon, and the revolution of the Moon around the Earth using a playground model. The model also includes Earth and Moon in their revolution around the Sun.
     
Adding the Moon Image
9. Adding the Moon: Using a Classroom Model to Explore the Movement of the Sun, Earth, and Moon
This activity provides students with a concrete model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. Students experience the motions of the Earth and the Moon as they spin and orbit the Sun.
     
Eclipse Image  
10. Eclipse: An Introduction
This lesson introduces the topic of eclipses with a focus on solar eclipses. Students also make entries about eclipses in their Science Journals.
     
Eclipse Image  
11. Eclipse: Using a Classroom Model to Explore the Moon's Shadow
This lesson provides students with a concrete model of the Sun, Earth and Moon and their interaction during a solar eclipse. Students observe and manipulate the 3-D model and simulate the movement of these bodies during an eclipse.
     
Day/Night Image  
12. How Can the Little Moon Hide the Giant Sun? Exploring Size and Distance
Students compare two objects at different distances. Students explore the concept that distance affects how we perceive the size of objects.
     
Day/Night Image
13. Making a Solar Eclipse Book: The Sun and Moon During Solar Eclipse
This is a culminating activity for the previous Sun and eclipse lessons. Students will make book covers displaying the Sun during a solar eclipse and a labeled illustration of the Sun.
     
Sundials: Observing and Using Shadows  
14. Making Sundials: Observing and Using Shadows
Students build sundials and observe changes in shadows over the course of one or more days.
     
The Sun Image  
15. Post-Assessment: Student Illustrations and Writing About the Sun
This assessment, given at the end of the unit, will show what students have learned.
     
The Sun Image  
Additional Classroom Resources
New lesson plan parts. Complete lessons to follow.
     
Related Books and Websites
Book Resources

Bendick, J. (1991). The Sun Our Very Own Star. Brookfield : Millbrook Press

Branley, F. (1988). Eclipse: Darkness in Daytime. New York: Harper & Row

Branley, F. (1989). Sunshine Makes the Season. New York: HarperCollins

Branley, F. (1997). The Sun: Our Nearest Star. New York: HarperCollins

Branley, F. (1991). What Makes Night and Day. New York: HarperCollins

Fowler, A. (1992). The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere. Danbury: Children’s Press.

Gibbons, G. (1983). Sun Up, Sun Down. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Lindbergh, R. (1994). What is the Sun? Cambridge: Candlewick Press.

Vogt, G. (2000). Sun. Namkato: Capstone Press.

 

Web Resources
http://kids.msfc.nasa.gov
http://www.thursdaysclassroom.com
http://amazing-space.stsci.edu
http://www.kidsastronomy.com
http://spacelink.nasa.gov
http://sunearth.ssl.berkeley.edu
http://education.gsfc.nasa.gov
http://www.kideclipse.com

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