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Interrelationships of Earth and Space Systems

Laura Bionde
May 5, 2016
Natural Science
Sixth Grade
2

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Length of Unit.. p.3


Course Text...p.3
Introduction / Rationale.....p.3
Instructional Goals of the Unit .....p.3
Key Concepts, Background, and Historical Information..p.4
Day 1 ....p. 5
Day 2.....p. 5
Day 3.p. 5
Day 4.p. 5
Day 5.p. 5
Day 6.... p. 5
Day 7 p. 5
Day 8.....p. 5
Day 9.....p. 5
Day 10...p. 5
Evaluation of Student Learningp. 5
Answer Key..p. 10
Alternative Assessmentp. 11
Reflection and Self-Evaluation of Unit Planp. 12
References Cited...p. 12
Lesson Plan 1p. 13
Lesson Plan 2p. 19
Lesson Plan 3p. 23
Lesson Plan 4p. 30
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Interrelationships of Earth and Space System

Length of Unit
This unit will consist of 9 days, 90 minute classes each, of content through the use of labs and
other presentations with one full day for assessment.

Course Text
The textbook I based many of my lessons and topics off of, is Science Explorer by Prentice
Hall. This textbook is used in my practicum placement and contains a great section on the solar
system and exploring the solar system. Although this unit will not focus on this textbook directly, it
can be used as reinforcement for the materials and lessons presented in class. I will be utilizing
computers as well for any research necessary to complete the lessons. This unit will consist of many
hands on experiments to enhance student learning and understanding.

Padilla, M. J., Miaoulis, I., Cyr, M., Jenner, J. V., Jenner, J. V., Cronkite, D. L., Coolidge-Stoltz, E.,
... Pearson/Prentice Hall. (2009). Prentice Hall science explorer. Boston, Mass: Pearson.

Introduction/Rationale
As a wrap up for the year, this unit will cover SOL 6.8. This unit is a perfect way to close the
th
6 grade science course because it brings in many concepts covered throughout the year, and begins
to prepare students for their 7th grade life science experience. SOL 6.8 allows students to use their
investigative techniques learned throughout the year by applying it to understanding the vastness of
space. The unit will cover concepts from the formation of the solar system and planets, all the way
through gravity, tides and even topics about Earth.
This unit will be extremely valuable and relative to students in 6th grade. Based on what I have
known in my practicum placement, 6th grade is a transition year. Students are growing out of their
elementary school experiences and beginning to get used to middle school. Concepts throughout the
6th grade SOL unit begin with the scientific method and end with the SOL on Space and Earth
systems. The entire 6th grade science SOL introduces physical, chemical and life science, and SOL
6.8, encompasses it all. It is not only an end point, but also a starting point for 7th grade. It is vital
students can grasp the size and importance of space for it is all around us. In this unit we will
investigate the vastness of space and be able to demonstrate through hands on labs as well as
demonstrations this immense important thing we call space.

Instructional Goals of this Unit

Students will understand


How the solar system was formed and why it formed in the way that it did.
The relative size and distances between planets in our solar system.
How Earths atmosphere protects our Earth and us.
That the tilt of the Earth is the cause of the seasons we experience.
The role of gravity on objects/events here on Earth and how gravity affects other objects in
space.
How the moons pull affects the tides we experience in the oceans on earth.
How earths rotation impacts night and day.
What causes the phases of the moon.
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Students will know


The similarities and differences between planets and their characteristics.
The history of Earth as a planet. The make up of Earths atmosphere.
The difference between the seasons and how the earth is tilted during each.
Research done by past scientists and the influences they had on new experiments.
The different tides such as the spring and neap tides.
The difference between rotation and revolution.
Important people and events in history dealing with space exploration.
Students will be able to
Write and test hypotheses for various concepts.
Create a brochure containing scientific data and information while advertising their assigned
planet.
Explain the important characteristics of the planets in our solar system.
Make inferences based on prior knowledge about the solar system and the sizes of planets.
Create a scale model of the solar system to demonstrate the size and distances between
planets.
Make comparisons relating objects in every day life to the planets.
Explain the causes of seasons.
Research an experiment by Galileo using computers.
Design and test and experiment relating to gravity.
Research the forces that affect tides.
Demonstrate day and night and what causes the difference.
Gain knowledge in order to correct any misconceptions they may have about the moon.
Demonstrate the phases of the moon through lab.
Observe, record and identify the different phases of the moon.
Make a timeline to demonstrate the history of space exploration.
Investigate technologies of the past and present that impact space exploration.

Key Concepts, Background and Historical Information


Since this unit utilizes many experiments and demonstrations, the teacher should be familiar
with the classroom, equipment and any other materials necessary for these labs. Additionally, since
laptops will be used for many lessons in order for students to do research, it will be necessary for both
the teacher and student to be knowledgeable about laptops. The teacher should have back up plans in
case such technology does not work for the lesson. Each lesson that makes up this unit is inquiry
based, meaning students will be investigating in order to learn and understand topics about earth and
space systems. Due to this inquiry-based approach, students need to know and understand the
scientific method and be able to apply it to their learning. Finally, students should have general
background knowledge about chemistry such as what is matter and chemical elements since they are
involved in space science.
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Daily Lesson Plans

Day 1: SOL 6.8 a) Formation of the solar system and characteristics of the planets (see attached
lesson p. 13)

Day 2: SOL 6.8 b) Relative Size and Distance of Planets (See attached lesson p. 19).

Day 3: SOL 6.8 f) Earth as a Unique Planet, and History of Earth as a Planet

Day 4: SOL 6.8 g) Earths Tilt and Causes of the Seasons

Day 5: SOL 6.8 c) The Role of Gravity (see attached lesson p. 23)

Day 6: SOL 6.8 h) Causes of Tides

Day 7: SOL 6.8 d & e) Revolution and Rotation and the Effect on Day and Night

Day 8: SOL 6.8 e) Phases of the Moon (see attached lesson p. 31)

Day 9: SOL 6.8 i) Technology and History of Space Exploration

Day 10: Assessment day

Evaluation of Student Learning


Day 10 of this unit will be assessment day. On this day I will administer a unit test as a formal
evaluation of the unit to test student learning and knowledge. However, this will not be the only
assessment throughout the unit. During each lesson, I will be evaluating students formatively
throughout the lesson. To do so, I will be walking around during labs and group work in order to
check that each individual is participating and understanding the material. Also, I will be using exit
slips and pre-assessments to assess where my students are with the new information. I will be able to
use these as a way of altering my lessons to meet the needs of my students.
Also, I will be collecting assignments throughout the unit for grades. There are multiple labs
throughout the unit, either ones that students write themselves, or ones I assign, that will be handed in
for a grade. These will be tools for checking that the students can not only spit back the content I have
provided but can apply it in lab. I will provide time at the end of every day, which contains a lab, for
students to write a quick journal entry about what they performed in lab. This will give the students a
chance to put in their own words the activity or experiment they completed. Doing so, will help them
keep a log of how they applied the content to real life and what they learned from physically
manipulating materials. As a summative assessment, I will use the SOL 6.8 unit test I have created
and attached.
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Unit Test: SOL 6.8


Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems

Name________________________ Date_____________

Multiple Choice: circle the best possible answer for the following questions:
1. Which of these has the strongest gravitational field?
a. Sun
b. Earth
c. Saturn
d. Jupiter
2. Which characteristic is common to the four outer planets in our solar system?
(http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/2015/gr_8_science_released_in_spring_2015.pdf)
a. Low mass
b. High density
c. Fast revolution
d. Gaseous composition
3. Who claimed that Earth was in the center of the solar system while other bodies orbited
around it?
a. Aristotle
b. Ptolemy
c. Copernicus
d. Galileo
4. Which of the following is not a characteristic of planet Earth?
a. Rocky planet
b. Has an atmosphere made up of mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen
c. Is about 4.5 million years old
d. Covered with large oceans
5. What is the force called that keeps the planets in motion around the sun?
a. Pressure
b. Friction
c. Gravity
d. Tension
6. What is one characteristic of the inner four planets in our solar system?
a. Large and rocky
b. Small and rocky
c. Large and gaseous
d. Small and gaseous
7. Choose the option that correctly completes the statement: The phases of the moon are caused
by
a. The moons position relative to the Earth and sun
b. Tides
c. Gravity
d. The Earths position relative to the sun
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8. Who performed the experiment to test gravity at the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
a. Galileo
b. Copernicus
c. Einstein
d. Aristotle
9. The formation of the Solar System is said to have happened how many years ago?
a. 1 Million
b. 100 Billion
c. 14 Billion
d. 7 Million
10. What is the name of the theory for the formation of our solar system?
a. Large Explosion Theory
b. Flattened Disk Theory
c. Big Bang Theory
d. Formation Theory
11. Known as the Red Planet, it is fourth from the sun and shares man characteristics with Earth.
a. Venus
b. Jupiter
c. Mars
d. Pluto
12. Surrounded by rings made of ice that were first seen by Galileo, has 18 moons.
a. Saturn
b. Uranus
c. Mars
d. Neptune
13. What is the cause of the seasons here on Earth?
a. Rotation of Earth
b. Revolution of Earth
c. Earths Tilt on its axis
d. Both rotation and revolution of the Earth
14. The rotation of the Earth on its axis causes what?
a. Seasons
b. Changes in temperature
c. Tides
d. Day and night
Open Ended/Fill in the Blank: Read directions carefully and answer the following
questions:
15. A ______________ is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world,
based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and
experiment.
a. Hypothesis
b. Educated Guess
c. Assumption
d. Scientific Theory
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16. Place the 8 planets in the correct order based on distance from the sun.

The Sun- __________, ___________, _____________, ___________, __________,


__________, __________ and ____________.

17. Place the layers of the atmosphere in order from closest to the surface of Earth, to the furthest:
Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Thermosphere, Troposphere

18. Correctly label the phases of the moon in the following diagram:

19. In your own words, using examples from lab, describe what causes Earth to experience day
and night: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/frameworks/science_framewks/framework_science6.pdf

___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

20. A planet ___________ upon its axis


a. Spins
b. Rotates
c. Revolves
d. Reverses
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21. What was the name of the program that took Americans to the moon?
a. Apollo
b. Mir
c. Soyuz
d. International Space Station
22. The purpose of this was to launch and sustain a scientific laboratory in Space.
a. The Shuttle
b. International Space Station
c. Shenzhou
d. Gemini
Essay: Carefully read the prompt and answer in 5-10 sentences.

Using what you know about the scientific method, create an experiment to test
the role of gravity here on Earth. Include a hypothesis, all materials needed and steps to
complete this lab.
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
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SOL 6.8 Unit Test


ANSWER KEY
1. A
2. D
3. B
4. C
5. C
6. B
7. A
8. A
9. C
10. C
11. C
12. A
13. C
14. D
15. D
16. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
17. Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere
18. From top, moving right: First quarter, waxing crescent, new, waning crescent, third quarter,
waning gibbous, full, waxing gibbous
19. As the Earth rotates, different sides of the Earth face toward or away from the sun, thus
causing day and night, respectively.
20. B
21. A
22. B
ESSAY: Sample Answer. Responses may vary; full credit given to those who include all aspects.
Hypothesis: The ball and the feather will hit the ground at different times due to air
resistance.
Materials: feather, .5lb ball
Steps: Select two objects to test. Find an area where these objects can be dropped. Assign a 2
timers, a dropper and a receiver. Measure the distance these objects will be dropped and record. Drop
the tow objects at the same time. Observe which one hits the ground first. One timer will focus on the
first object and a second timer will focus on the second object so that the time it hits will be accurate.
Record the time and which hit first in a data chart. Once you have completed at least 3 trials, analyze
the data collected and form a conclusion based on observations.]

Alternative Assessment
In order to meet the needs of all students, differentiation must be incorporated into every
lesson, and every unit assessment. To be successful in differentiation I have to provide options when
it comes to product. This means providing an alternative assessment to be used in place of a final test.
This alternative assessment will be in the form of a project. I will provide three options that students
can choose from in order to demonstrate their learning. The project assignment is attached and will
encompass all parts of the unit and will be evaluated according to a rubric, which is also attached.
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Space Unit Final Project

You will select one of the options below to complete for a


final assessment for our unit on space. This is your chance
to demonstrate how much you know about space. Choose
wisely and BE CREATIVE!

Option 1: Create a ThingLink that contains a brief overview


of each topic we have covered in this unit. Each hot spot
should be designated to a topic and contain at least one link to
an outside sources. Sources can be videos, news websites etc.
but must be relevant to the topic. Each hot spot should
also have an explanation of that topic using terms we have
learned throughout the unit.

Option 2: Write lyrics to a rap/song that cover all of the


topics we have discussed in this unit. Songs cannot contain bad
language. You may make up your own tune or use a song and
change the lyrics. You may perform this for the class, or
simply hand in the lyrics.

Option 3: Design a model of the solar system. This project


option is very open ended. You are allowed to make the
decisions regarding how you want to cover the necessary
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material. You must include all the planets, but it is up to you


how you want to organize the content we have covered so far.

Topics:
Formation of solar system Gravity
Characteristics of planets (include Tides
at least 2 planet descriptions) Day and
Earths uniqueness night
Seasons Moon phases
Space exploration

Reflection and Self-Evaluation of Unit Plan


This is the first full science unit plan I have written. In the past, I have completed history
units, and I was surprised at how different this is. I have definitely realized it takes a lot of work and
time to plan for labs. I never thought about how in depth you have to make your plans in order to
make sure students are learning; yet still being safe. I have also discovered that inquiry based learning
can be extremely valuable. Writing all of my lessons as inquiry based made me realize how important
it is to have students discover, investigate and learn.

References Cited

Padilla, M. J., Miaoulis, I., Cyr, M., Jenner, J. V., Jenner, J. V., Cronkite, D. L., Coolidge-Stoltz, E.,
... Pearson/Prentice Hall. (2009). Prentice Hall science explorer. Boston, Mass: Pearson.

Lesson Plan Library. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2016, from


http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson-plans/

NASA For Educators. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2016, from


https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/science/k-6/stds_science6.pdf
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Lesson Plan #3
April 5, 2016

Content Area: Earth and Space Systems Grade Level: 6th


Standards:
VA SOL 6.1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic,
and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations
VA SOL 6.8: The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system
and the interactions among the various bodies that comprise it. Key concepts include:
a) The sun, moon, Earth, other planets and their moons

Title: Space Vacation

Objectives: Students will be able to


1. Formulate a hypothesis for what space event the teacher is demonstrating.
2. Understand how the universe and planets were formed.
3. Create a brochure advertising their planet as a vacation destination.
4. Explain important characteristics of each of the planets.

Essential Questions:
1. What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
2. How did our universe and planets form?
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3. What are the similarities and differences between the planets, and the sun, in our solar
system?

Materials and Resources:


Balloon with confetti inside
Needle or sharp object to pop balloon.
Brochure Project guide worksheet
Rubric for brochure
Cardstock paper for brochure that can be folded into three sections
Color pencils

Safety Considerations:
Students should not come near the needle being used to pop the balloon.

Engage: (5 minutes)
EQ 2: How did our universe and planets form?
The teacher will begin the class by gathering her students to the center of the room. She will
have them form a circle around her. In the teachers hands will be a balloon filled with
confetti.
The teacher will ask the class to remain silent and not to shout out any ideas they may have
about what she is demonstrating so not to ruin it for the class.
The teacher will pop the balloon with the needle and the confetti will fly out.
The teacher will not give any further explanation about what she just did by popping the
balloon. The teacher will explain that is it now the classes job to come up with an educated
guess as to what was just demonstrated by the popping of the balloon. The teacher may tell
the class that they should think about what we have been studying so far in the unit.

Explore: (5 minutes)
EQ 1: What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
EQ 2: How did our universe and planets form?
Following the brief introduction activity students will break up into groups and discuss what
they think followed this big bang.
The teacher will ask the class to explain the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. She
will call on students to explain the difference and will clear up any misunderstanding about
this. She may even write the definitions of each on the board if necessary.
The teacher will instruct the students to form a hypothesis as to what they think happened
with the particles in the balloon in terms of space and what this confetti might represent.
Students should discuss their ideas within their groups. After, each group will be asked to
explain their hypothesis with the rest of the class once time is up. This will be a short
brainstorming activity and students will be told that all educated answers will be looked at.

Explain: (20 minutes)


EQ 1: What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
EQ 2: How did our universe and planets form?
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Groups will present what they decided on as an explanation as to how that demonstration
represents the formation of our galaxy.
After, the teacher will present the new information and correct any misconceptions presented
from the students group work.
o Theory: a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as
correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of
phenomena.
o Hypothesis: a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited
evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
o Difference: A hypothesis is an attempt to explain phenomena. It is a proposal, a guess
used to understand and/or predict something. A theory is the result of testing a
hypothesis and developing an explanation that is assumed to be true about something.
Big Bang Theory:
o Most astronomers believe the Universe began in a Big Bang about 14 billion years
ago.
o At this time, the whole universe was contained in a bubble that was much smaller
than even a pinhead. It was also extremely hot and dense.
o Suddenly, it exploded. In this second, the universe grew from smaller than one single
atom to bigger than a galaxy, and it is still expanding today!
o As the universe expanded and cooled, some matter survived and are known as protons
and neutrons.
o Within minutes, the temperature dropped so that it was now cool enough for the
protons and neutrons to come together, forming hydrogen and helium nuclei. (the class
will have a basic understanding of nuclei and the elements hydrogen and helium).

Planet Formation:
o These clouds of gases also contained dust particles, which as the cloud turned rapidly
in a disk like motion, began forming planets.
The particles within the gasses compressed and flattened into protoplanetary
disks, which are known as the birthplace of planets.
The teacher will explain this concept and take any questions regarding the formation of the
universe and planets. The teacher will then explain that for the rest of the class our focus will
now be on planets and how they are similar or different and how the formation of the planets
affects their physical and chemical composition.

Elaborate: (55 minutes)


EQ 3: What are the similarities and differences between the planets, and the sun, in our solar system?
The teacher will then break the class up into 9 groups. One group for each planet plus the sun
The teacher will explain that each group is to pick a card out of the hat. Each card has a planet
and that is the planet they will be researching.
The goal of this assignment is to create a brochure that advertises your planet as the best new
place to vacation. Students should follow the guidelines presented on the worksheet.

Evaluate:
EQ 3: What are the similarities and differences between the planets, and the sun, in our solar system?
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If the group has not completed the brochure by the end of class time, which they should, they
are to finish it for homework and bring it into class the following day.
The teacher will grade the brochures based on a rubric (attached).
The next day in class, each group is to present their brochures. Students should all be paying
attention and taking notes sine they will be responsible for all the planets, not just the one they
were assigned.
Connections:
The teacher will purposely ask the Earth group to present last so we can make a direct
connection between this and future lessons.
After the presentations, the teacher will ask each student to write down which planet they
believe is best to visit/live on. The teacher will collect these and tally the results and
briefly discuss why Earth seems to be the most attractive.
o The group that receives Earth will probably have the easiest time promoting their
planet as a place to visit. Therefore, our next lesson will be focusing on Earth as a
unique planet and the history of Earth.

Space Vacation!
Name_____________ Date_______

Mission: As an interstellar travel agent, it is


your mission to convince your fellow space cadets
that your planet is the best new place to vacation!
Following the requirements below, as well as the
rubric provided, created a brochure showing
everyone why they should visit.
Have fun and be CREATIVE!

Requirements
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6.1.Gravitational
Location offorce
planet
7.2.How long
Composition
is a day? Year?
8.3.At least
Weather
3 fun
Report
facts
9.4.Number
Airofcomposition
moons
10.
5. How Density
long would
and it
mass
take to
get to it?
11. Travel Essentials

**Please include as many drawings as youd like. Minimum requirement


is 5 per brochure.
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April 14, 2016


5E Lesson 4

Content Area: Space Science


Grade Level: 6th
Standards:
VA SOL Standard 6.8: The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar
system and the relationships among the various bodies that comprise it. Key concepts include:
b) Relative size of and distance between planets
Objectives: Students will be able to
1. Make inferences based on prior knowledge about the solar system.
2. Understand the relative size and distance of the planets.
3. Make comparisons between familiar objects and the planets.
Essential Questions:
1. What can we use to represent the planets here on Earth?
2. How can we show the massive distances between planets on a smaller scale?
Materials and Resources:
8 in diameter ball
2 pinheads
2 peppercorns
Chestnut or pecan
Hazelnut of acorn
2 peanuts
Index cards
tape
Safety Considerations:
Students should be aware of the pinhead attached to the card so not to poke themselves.
Engage:
To begin class, the teacher will show a video of a group of men attempting to make an actual
scale model of the solar system. She will explain that as a class they will be conducting a
similar activity, however it will not be to full scale as it is in the video.
o http://www.space.com/30610-scale-of-solar-system-amazing-video.html (begin at
1:48)
The teacher will ask the students to consider the size of our solar system and the things that
make it up. She will then lay out the materials that will be used in the lab portion of class for
everyone to see. She will ask the students to take a few moments to look at these objects and
try and match them to each of the planets. She will explain this is not going to be graded and
is simply to get students thinking about what we can use to represent something so big in our
little classroom.
Explore:
The teacher will then ask the class to get out their laptops and follow the worksheet provided.
Here they will use a variety of websites to learn about the actual sizes, distances from the sun,
and make up of the planet.
Website for distances: http://theplanets.org/distances-between-planets/
Website for sizes and other facts: http://planetfacts.org/size-of-planets-in-order/
20

Students make work within their lab groups to complete the chart on the worksheet provided.
Explain:
Once each group has completed their worksheet and put away their laptops the teacher will
bring the class back to go over answers and provide new material.
Diameters:
o Mercury- 4,878 km
o Venus- 12,04 km
o Earth- 12, 756 km
o Mars- 6,780 km
o Jupiter- 139,822 km
o Saturn- 116,464 km
o Uranus-50, 724 km
o Neptune- 49,248 km
Distances:
o Mercury to Venus- 31, 248, 757 miles
o Venus to Earth- 25,724,767 miles
o Earth to Mars- 48,678,219 miles
o Mars to Jupiter- 342, 012, 346 miles
o Jupiter to Saturn- 401, 592, 178 miles
o Saturn to Uranus- 900, 37, 530
o Uranus to Neptune_ 1,011, 297, 430 miles
Gas Planets- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune: believed that the giants first formed as
rocky and icy planet. But, the size of the cores allowed these planets to grab hydrogen and
helium out of the gas cloud from which the sun was condensing, before the sun formed and
blew most of the gas away. (http://www.space.com/30372-gas-
giants.html#sthash.cGw5F2Wi.dpuf)
Solid- Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars: Terrestrial planets are Earth-like planets (in Latin,
terra means Earth) made up of rocks or metals with a hard surface. Terrestrial planets also
have a molten heavy metal core, few moons, and topological features such as valleys,
volcanoes and craters. (http://www.space.com/17028-terrestrial-
planets.html#sthash.cSC05gKD.dpuf)
Elaborate:
Once everyone has the correct sizes, distances and other information written down about the
Planets, the teacher will explain that they will now be making their own model. Although it
wont be as amazing as the one shown in the video, it will still help them to understand the
size of our solar system.
Using the following materials to represent each planet, the teacher will take the class outside
to an empty field where they will be able to walk at least half a mile. Depending on how many
students are in each class, the teacher will assign planets to groups of 3 or 4 students, and they
will be in charge of reading out the size and distance from the sun, and then place it down on
the ground in the correct spot.
o Sun-any ball, diameter 8.00 inches
Mercury-a pinhead, diameter 0.03 inch
Venus-a peppercorn, diameter 0.08 inch
Earth-a second peppercorn
Mars-a second pinhead
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Jupiter-a chestnut or a pecan, diameter 0.90 inch


Saturn-a hazelnut or an acorn, diameter 0.70 inch
Uranus-a peanut or coffeebean, diameter 0.30 inch
Neptune-a second peanut or coffeebean
**These items will need to be attached to index cards so they can be seen and will not get
lost.
Beginning with the sun, the teacher will place that down at one end of the field. (One inch in
the model represents a hundred thousand miles) The teacher will call out Mercury and say we
will take 10 paces, 9 to Venus, 7 to Earth, 14 to Mars, 95 to Jupiter, 112 to Saturn, 249 to
Uranus, 281 to Neptune. After each individual planet is called out and the steps are taken by
the class as a group, those who are assigned to that specific planet will step up, tell the class
some important information about that planet and then place the object representing it on the
ground.
The class will then step back and observe the distances and record what they see, any
questions that arise will be answered if necessary.
Evaluate:
Groups will hand in their worksheets along with a journal entry about what they observed
during the activity outside. This does not need to be very long, but must describe the
conversions used and why we used those specific objects, along with 2-3 facts about the
planets.
Connections:
This lesson will follow the day on formation of the solar system and characteristics of the
planets. This will add onto what we have already covered about the planets and will allow us
to go more in depth and actually see a solar system with our own eyes.
22

Planets to Scale
Name___________
23

March 1, 2016

Content Area: Science


Grade Level: 6th

Standards:
VA SOL 6.8: The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system and the
interactions among the various bodies that comprise it. Key concepts include:
c) The role of gravity

Objectives: Students will be able to


1. Research Galileo and understand his impact on our knowledge of gravity.
2. Design and conduct their very own experiment in order to test their hypothesis.
3. Understand how gravity affects Earth and other objects in space.

Essential Questions:
1. What role does gravity play on objects on Earth?
2. How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
3. What role does gravity play on our solar system?

Materials and Resources


Computer/iPad
Balls of difference sizes and weights
Feathers
PowerPoint
Lab Plan and Lab Worksheet

Safety Considerations- During the lab, the teacher should make clear that no students should stand
on any desks or chairs to drop their objects. Students should us the stairwell or should simply drop the
objects from where they stand. Students should be careful with the objects and should not throw
them.

Engage: (10 min)


EQ1: What role does gravity play on objects on Earth?
EQ2: How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
The teacher will instruct the class to get their laptops and go to a website she provides on the
board. http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi166.htm
The teacher will explain that they are to read and learn about Galileos experiment on gravity
because they will soon be conducting an experiment of their own. As the students read about
Galileo they will be taking notes on important aspects and information they find.

Explore: (30 min)


EQ2: How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
Following the web-search, the teacher will explain they will be designing and conducting their
very own experiments. The teacher will ask the class to get into their pre-determined lab
groups and go to a lab table to wait further instruction
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See Lab Plan: Free Fallin

Explain: (50 min)


EQ1: What role does gravity play on objects on Earth?
EQ2: How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
After designing and completing their labs, each group is expected to briefly present their
findings to the rest of the class.
Each group should include their materials, variables, hypothesis and results and mainly their
overall conclusion.
In order to connect the students findings from their experiments with the topic of Earth and
Space, the class will engage in a discussion about the role of gravity on planets and our solar
system.
The teacher will present the new material in a PowerPoint presentation:
o Gravity: the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any
other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton's laws of gravity apply,
with minor modifications to take the general theory of relativity into account.
o Gravity represents the attraction between objects, all objects with mass are affected by
gravity.
o Gravity acts like a magnet, pulling objects together.
o The Earth has gravity that holds everything to the planet, like trees, animals, and
people.
Falling Objects: (connection to lab)
o Galileo-Italian scientist who lived in the late 16th and early 17th century
Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment-Two balls of different weight, dropped
from the same height, will hit the ground at the same time.
Gravity works the same on all objects unless wind resistance gets in the way.
Ex) the feather being used in the lab conducted by students. Connect to lab
Wind resistance-The drag or push of air against a moving object
o All the planets in our solar system and their moons have gravity.
o Gravity is affected by the size and proximity of objects
The Earth and moon have a stronger pull on each other than Earth and Jupiter,
because they are closer together.
Earth exerts a stronger pull on the moon, because it is larger
o Orbits: when one object in space revolves around another.
Earth orbits the sun, moon orbits the Earth
Centripetal (direction of force is coming from the center) and Centrifugal
(means fleeing from the center) forces work to keep the planets and their
moons in orbit around each other.
o Mass vs. Weight- Mass is the stuff that matter is made up of. Weight is the result of
gravity pulling on the mass. Traveling from one planet to another, your mass would
remain the same, while your weight would change.

Elaborate: Homework
EQ: 1:What role does gravity play on objects on Earth?
2:What role does gravity play on our solar system?
25

For homework, the teacher will provide a worksheet in order to get students thinking about
the difference between weight and mass, and how each changes, or does not change, when
moving to different planets in space.

Evaluate:
EQ1: What role does gravity play on objects on Earth?
EQ2: How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
EQ3: What role does gravity play on our solar system?
The teacher will evaluate the groups presentations about their findings from their lab.
Mass vs. Weight homework worksheet will be discussed at the beginning of class briefly and
graded for completion.

Connections:
Mainly, this lesson will be used for the next lesson on tides. Students will use what they know
about gravity to understand the pull of the moon on Earth and how this causes tides. The information
from this lesson will be carried on throughout the rest of the unit. In the following lessons, students
will be able to use their background knowledge to better understand new information. Additionally,
the concept of gravity will be talked about again when we cover space exploration and technology.
26

LAB PLAN TEMPLATE: 5E Lesson Plan #2

Lab Title: Free Fallin

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to have students be able to design and conduct their own
experiment. Also, to help students understand the role of gravity on objects on Earth, and the impact
of air resistance.

Essential Question:
EQ2: How can we design an experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects?
How can you design an experiment to test the role of gravity?
What is the role gravity plays on objects here on Earth?

Materials & Resources:


Computer/iPad
.5lb ball and a 1lb. rubber ball
Feathers
Yard stick(for measuring drop distance)
Procedures:
Before letting students gather their materials, the teacher will explain that they will be
designing and conducting their own experiment to test the affect of gravity on objects on
Earth.
The teacher will provide a template for the groups to fill out as the work. The teacher will
explain that the groups should come up with a hypothesis in regards to the two objects in the
front of the room (ball and feather). The teacher will explain the groups are to decide different
ways to test these objects and record data to prove, or disprove their hypothesis.
o If students are having a difficult time deciding what they should be testing, teacher
should have them refer to Galileos experiment for help. The goal is to have students
test both objects at different heights, and test the ball against the feather, ball against
ball and feather against feather. From there, they should come up with a conclusion.
The teacher will ask that each group come up with a hypothesis before getting the material
and beginning the lab. As they come up with a hypothesis, each lab group will send one
member of the group up to collect the materials needed for the lab.
As the work, the teacher will be walking around and guiding groups if needed.

Safety Considerations: During the lab, the teacher should make clear that no students should stand
on any desks or chairs to drop their objects. Students should us the stairwell or should simply drop the
objects from where they stand. Students should be careful with the objects and should not throw
them.
27

Scientific Methods

Observations: When dropped from the same height and time, the two balls hit the ground at the same
time. When dropped at the same height and time, the two feathers hit the ground at close to the same
time, but not exactly. When dropped at the same time and height, the ball and feather hit the ground
at very different times.

Hypothesis: The ball and the feather will hit the ground at different times due to air resistance.

Data to be collected:
Students should be recording which object lands first and the height from which they are
dropping them.

Analysis of data and Conclusion

Objects being dropped Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3


Stud
.5lb. ball and 1lb. ball Same time Same time Same time ents
shou
Feather and a ball Ball Ball Ball ld
conc
Feather 1 and Feather 2 Feather 1 Feather 1 Feather 2 lude
that
the
time it takes for the objects to drop, is independent of their masses. They will record what
object hit first, or if they hit at the same time in order to determine the factors contributing to
their descent. Students will conclude that there are other forces at work that are affected the
rate at which the ball or feather falls. They may conclude this force to be air resistance, if not
this will be explained in the presentations of each group as well as the lesson following the
lab.

Disposal Plan- All materials can be collected by the teacher and stored.
28

Free Fallin
Name___________________ Date____________

Today, you and your lab group will be designing your very own experiment! Each lab
group should test each material at least 3 times. You may choose the height from which you
drop the objects (BUT remember no standing on objects!) Be creative, and dont forget about
what you have learning from our friend Galileo!

Hypothesis:

Materials (write what materials you will need):

Procedure (write the steps to performing your experiment):

Observation (write what happened when you did it)

Data (record your findings in the chart below)


29

OBJECTS BEING DROPPED TRIAL 1 TRIAL 2 TRIAL 3

Con
clusi
on (write what your experiment proves):

Name _______________ Date___________


30

After learning about mass and weight in class, apply your new knowledge to your very own life!
Follow the directions below and discover how much you weigh on other planets!

How Much Do I Weigh?


1. Weigh yourself or guess your weight here on
Earth.
2. Record your mass in the chart below. Your
mass will be your weight here on Earth.
3. Use the chart below and the following formula
to calculate your weight on other planetary
objects. Weight = mass x gravity
February 18, 2016

Planetary Object Mass x Gravity = Weight

Earth 1

Moon .166

Outer Space 0

Mercury .38

Venus .91

Mars .38

Jupiter 2.14

Saturn .91

Uranus .86

Neptune 1.1

Pluto .08

The Sun 28
31

Content Area: Earth Science


Grade Level: Middle School (6th Grade)

Lesson Topics: Phases of the Moon

Standards:
VA SOL 6.1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the
nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which:
i) Models and simulations are designed and used to illustrate and explain
phenomena and systems; and
j) Current applications are used to reinforce science concepts.
VA SOL 6.8: The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system and the
interactions among the various bodies that comprise it. Key concepts include:
e) the phases of the moon

Objectives: Students will be able to


Correct any misconceptions held about the Moon.
Observe, record and identify the phases of the moon through demonstration.
Understand the phases of the moon are caused by its movement around the Earth.

Essential Questions:
1. What causes the different phases of the Moon?
2. What are the different phases of the Moon?
3. How can we directly observe with our senses the natural phenomena of the phases of the
Moon? (NOS)

Materials and Resources:


Misconception worksheet
Phases of the Moon are the Faces of the Moon Lab
o Styrofoam ball for each student, lamp without lampshade and pencils for each student.
Phases of the Moon Worksheet

Safety Considerations:
During Lab: Remind students the pencils have sharp points and to be careful when inserting
them into the Styrofoam ball. Remind students that the lamp in the center of the room is
uncovered and will get hot so they should not go near it.

Engage: Time Estimate- 10 minutes


Objective: Correct any misconceptions held about the Moon
The teacher will provide a handout containing true or false questions about the moon
(attached). Students will answer true or false and the teacher will then explain they are all
false, and all common misconceptions about the moon. The teacher will explain todays
lesson will be covering all of these misconceptions so that they are no longer misconceptions
to the students.
32

Explore: Time Estimate- 30 minutes


Objective: Observe, record and identify the phases of the moon through demonstration, and
understand the phases of the moon are caused by its movement around the Earth.
EQ 1: What causes the different phases of the Moon?
EQ2: What are the different phases of the Moon?
EQ 3: How can we directly observe with our senses the natural phenomena of the phases of the
Moon? (NOS)
The teacher and students will conduct Phases of the Moon are the Faces of the Moon Lab
Plan. She will provide each student with material needed for the lab and provide detailed
instruction and any lab safety that applies. Students will be expected to record their
observations on notebook paper to use for future assignments. There will be no formal lab
report.

Explain: Time Estimate- 30 minutes


EQ2: What are the different phases of the Moon?
Following the Phases of the Moon Lab Plan, the teacher will reassemble the class and discuss their
findings from the lab. The teacher will guide the students to understanding key terms:
Moon Phases: teacher will provide the names for all the phases students observed during the
lab.
o New Moon-not visible
o Waxing Crescent-less than on quarter illuminated, when illumination is increasing
o First Quarter-half illuminated, increasing in illumination
o Waxing Gibbous- more than half, illumination is increasing
o Full Moon- completely visible
o Waning Gibbous- more than half illuminated, illumination is decreasing
o Last Quarter- (third quarter) half illuminated, illumination is decreasing
o Waning Crescent- less than half illuminated, illumination is decreasing
Waxing- a gradual increase in magnitude or extent
Eclipse-one celestial body obscures another
Waning-a gradual decrease in magnitude or extent
Illuminate-make lighter or brighter
How long it takes the moon to make one revolution around the Earth- about one month (27.3
days)
The moon rotates on its axis- completing one rotation every 27.3 days. We do not notice it
rotates because it takes that same amount of time to orbit the Earth.
We can see the different phases of the moon because it reflects the light from the sun, it does
not make its own light.

Elaborate: Time Estimate- 20 minutes


EQ2: What are the different phases of the Moon?
The teacher will provide a hand out for students to complete by drawing and labeling the
different phases of the moon previously observed and described. The teacher will ask students
to use their observations from the lab to complete the drawings on the worksheet and use
notes from the class discussion to name each phase.
In addition, the teacher will ask the students to record what they observe of the moon tonight
for homework. The teacher will ask students to come to class the next day with a drawing of
33

what they observed and what phase the moon was in that night. There will be a brief class
discussion the following day on these observations.

Evaluate: Time Estimate- none for today


EQ2: What are the different phases of the Moon?
The teacher will be observing the students drawings as they complete the moon phase
worksheet (formative)
The teacher will also give a complete or incomplete the next day in class for observing and
recording the moon that night at home (summative)

Connections:
This lesson will be taught following the lesson on rotation and revolution and their effect on day and
night. This will be a good lesson to follow that because it will apply what we learned about
rotation and revolution to why we see what we do in the moon from earth. In the future, we can
apply this lesson to space exploration and moon landings.
34

What Do You Know About Our


Moon??
(Or Think You Know!)

Directions: Answer true or false to the following questions. Answer


each to the best of your ability!

_______1. Phases of the Moon are caused by a shadow from the Earth,
clouds, or the Earth or Moon's rotation.

_______2. The Moon goes around the Earth in a single day.

_______3. The Moon makes its own light (the same way the Sun does).

_______4. The Moon does not rotate

_______5. The same half of the Moon is in darkness all the time (that there is
a dark side of the Moon).
35

http://moon.nasa.gov/moonmisconc

What Do You Know About Our


Moon??
(Or Think You Know!)

Directions: Answer true or false to the following questions. Answer


each to the best of your ability!

___F____1. Phases of the Moon are caused by a shadow from the Earth,
clouds, or the Earth or Moon's rotation. Our perspective of the moon changes
as it orbits

___F____2. The Moon goes around the Earth in a single day. Takes about one
month

___F____3. The Moon makes its own light (the same way the Sun does).
Moon reflects the light of the sun

___F____4. The Moon does not rotate Moon spins on its axis. Has same
period as the Earth, so we always see the same side.

___F____5. The same half of the Moon is in darkness all the time (that there is
a dark side of the Moon). As the moon rotates, different sides receive light.
36

Name______________________ Date_____________

Directions: Draw each phase of the moon in the blanks provided


and label each phase with the correct name. Make sure your
drawings are neat and distinct.
37

Name___ANSWER KEY__ Date_____________

Directions: Draw each phase of the moon in the blanks provided


and label each phase with the correct name. Make sure your
drawings are neat!
38