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StarSizes

Author:ThomasSargent
Datecreated:10/07/201610:33PMCDTDatemodified:10/17/20165:34PMCDT

Date 10/07/16

Subject Science

Topic Starsandtheirsizeinrelationtooursun.

Grade/Level Grade8

TheBigIdea(s)orEssential Canthestudentsgetafeelforhowlargeastarreallyisandhowmuchtheycanvaryinsize.
Question(s)

MulticulturalGoals(checkone
ormore) DevelopingmultiplehistoricalperspectivesManyculturesviewstarsinmanydifferentwaysandthislessoncouldbeused
totalkaboutthosehistoricalcultures.
DevelopingawarenessofthestateoftheplanetandawarenessofglobaldynamicsIknowthatbythe"stateoftheplanet"
theydonotmeanthephysicalstateoftheplanet,butIthinkshowingthatEarthisnotthecenteroftheuniverseandby
extensionyouarenotthecenteroftheuniversehassomevalueforthismulticulturalgoal.

StateofIdahoand/orcommon
USANextGenerationScienceStandards(2013)
corestandardsaddressed
Grade/Level:
MiddleSchoolEarthandSpaceSciences
Area:
MSESS1EarthsPlaceintheUniverse
Standard:
MSESS13.Analyzeandinterpretdatatodeterminescalepropertiesofobjectsinthesolarsystem.

Objectives TSWBAT:UsetheirknowledgeofStarnamesandTypestoplacethestarsinorderofsmallesttolargest.

TSWBAT:Applyknowledgefrompreviouslessonstounderstandthesizeofcelestialobjects.

Materialsand/ortechnology Materialsneededincludeaprojectortoplayashortvideo.Printoutswiththestarsandtheirnamesandtypes.Visuals
arenotnecessarybutmaybeprovidedtoshowthecolorsofthestarsinquestion.Makesuretohaveanyvisualsnot
showthesizeofthestarsoasnottogivestudentsapreconcievednotionofsize.

Activities/Procedures(IncludeAnticipatedTimeForEach)
Introduction/Activator 2minutes:Tointroducethislessontheteacherwillquestionthestudentsastowhattheythinkofasalargeobject.
Thentheywillquestionthestudentsastohowbigourstar(Sol)isincomparisontootherknownstars.

Classactivities(what 812Minutes:Aftertheintroductiontheteacherwillcallonvolunteerstocomeandplaceastarprintoutontheboard
you/studentswilldo) inorderoflargesttosmallest.Eachstudentwilluseapieceoftapeormagnetifpossibletoplacethestarwherethey
thinkitwillsitinthelineupbasedonwhattheyknowofthecolorandtypeofstarandthestarsnameordesignation.

Classactivities(whyyouwill Wewilldotheseactivitiestoencourageclassroomparticipationinthetask.
dothem)

Closure/reminders 3Minutes:Inconclusion,onceallthestarsand/orothercelestialobjectshavebeenplacedontheboardtheteacher
willplaythevideoshowingthesizecomparisons.https://youtu.be/HEheh1BH34Q

Asthevideodoesnotshowthewhitedwarfmakesuretomentionthattothestudentswhengoingovertheresults.

Assessment Forthislessontheideaistousethistaskasaformativeassessment.Howwellcanthestudentslineupthestars
basedonwhattheyknowalready.Useaclassdiscussionattheendtohavestudentsshowcasethattheyunderstand
thematerial.

Accommodations/differentiation Ifastudentisunabletocometotheboardtheymayhaveanotherstudentorteacherplacetheobjectforthemonthe
board.

Reflection/Evaluation

ForthislessonIchosetodoashortintroductorylessononhowbigstarsinrelationtothecircumferenceofourplanet
Earth.ItaughtthislessonfortwodifferentMentorTeachersandforatotalofeighttimes.SeventimesonMonday10/10/16
andonceonMonday10/17/16.Teachingthelessonsomanytimesallowedmetogetalotofpracticeinandnoticeseveral
differencesbetweentheclasses.TherearesomethingsaboutthelessonIwanttoreflectonIadaptedthelessonlittlefrom
classtoclass,Ifailedtointroducemyselftoclassesthatdidnotalreadyknowme,thelessondidnothaveanyformal
assessment,andthelessondidnothaveasmoothsegueintothenextlesson.

Iadaptedthelessonverylittlefromclasstoclassasitwasalreadysuchashortlesson.AsIwentonIdidnotice

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somethingsthatworkedanddidnotworkandtriedtotakementalnotesofthesethingsbutlargelyIoptedtostaywithwhat
IhadbeendoingasIwascomfortablewithit.IlearnedthefirsttimethatthevideoIshowedtoroundoutthelessondidnot
includethedwarfstarinitslistofstarsandsofortheremaininglessonsIfollowedthevideowithabriefexplanationofthe
sizeofawhitedwarf.Iwilladaptthelessonforthefuturetoincludesomevisuals,notattachedtoeachstaritselfasIdonot
wantthestudentstohaveapreconceivednotionofsizeotherthansizeclassificationthatislistedwiththenameandcolorof
thestar.Soanyvisualswouldhavetobeeitherasquareportionjusttoshowthecolor,ortakecaretomakeallthevisuals
thesamesize.Imayalsousejustafewstarcutoutsthatshowcasethedifferentcolorsjustsothereisacolorreference,these
wouldnothaveanynameattachedtothem.AlternativelyIwouldhavethetextandthevisualonseparatepiecesandthe
studentscanmatchthevisualtothestarandtrytoputthestarsinorderfromsmallesttolargest.

OnethingInoticedaftermyinitialdaywascompleteisthatsomeofmyclasseshadamplevolunteersandthe
studentsseemedcomfortableandwantedtoparticipatewhereotherclassesseemedreluctant.WhenIthoughtbackI
realizedthatwhileIwasteachingthislessontoallofthe8thgradesciencestudentsnotallofthesestudentsknewme.Only5
ofthe8classeshadbeenintroducedtomeandhadseenmeforthepreviousfewweeks.Ofthe3thathadnotbeen
introducedtome2wereclassesItaughttoon10/10/16.Theseclasseswereslowtoparticipateinthelesson.SowhenI
wentbacktoteachthelessontotheoneclassIhadmissedthepreviousweekImadesuretostartwithanintroductionof
whoIwasandwhyIwasthere.Takingthatminuteandhalftointroducemyselfprovedtobeworthitasthestudents
participatedjustasmuchastheclasseswhohadbeenpreviouslyintroducedtome.Soforfuturelessons,especiallyone
whereIteachasaguestIneedtomakesurethatifthementorteacherhasnotintroducedmethatIintroducemyself.It
seemssoobviousnowbutatthetimeofmyinitiallessondayIhadnotthoughtaboutitsimplybecausethemajorityofthe
studentsIwasteachingwerefamiliarwithme.Ididnotstoptoconsiderthosethatwerenotfamiliarwithme.

OnepointthatwasbroughtupbymyevaluatorwasthatwhetherornotIfeelthestudentslearnedtheconceptin
question.Thatstarsareverylargeandthatcolordoesplayanimportantroleinstars.Irespondedthatyesthestudents
learnedbutwhenaskedhowIhadnoanswer.Ihadinitiallywantedtoavoidhavinganythingthestudentswouldneedtoturn
inasIdidnotwanttocreatemoreworkormymentorteachersbyaddinginsomethingthatwouldneedtobecompletedfor
thestudentstobeabletotaketheunittest.IdidconsiderthatevenifIgavethestudentsahandoutorworksheetthatdidnot
meanthatithadtobeaddedtotheirofficialgrades,butthenitseemedlikethatwouldbewastedpaper.Todothislesson
againIwouldwanttospendmoretimeonthelessonandwhycolorplayssuchalargepartinstarsizes.ThenIcouldusethis
lessonasawaytogetstudentstograspjusthowlargethesecelestialobjectsareandfromthereusethisknowledgeasa
foundationforthenextlesson.ThenextlessoninthisinstancewouldbesomethingliketheHRdiagramoraworksheeton
starcolorsandcoordinatingtemperatures.(Bothofwhichtheydidintheirregularclass,theHRdiagrambeforeandthecolor
worksheettheweekafter.)UsingthislessoninmyownclassroomIusethismoreasapretesttogetafeelforhowaccurate
thestudentsknowledgeisbeforehandandasteppingstonetoproceedtothelargerconceptsofstars.

TiedinwiththeparagraphaboveIfeltthattheendoflessonwaspoor.Ithinkmoretimedoingaclassdiscussionon
thesizesofthestarsandtheimportanceofthecolorsandtermswouldhavehelpedsolidifythelessonandallowittoproceed
intoalessononstarcolorsandtemperaturesortheHRdiagram.Schedulingisultimatelywhatcausedmetoteachthelesson
atthepointinstudentlearningthatIdid,otherwiseIwouldhavelovedtousethisasaunitopeneronstars.

Ultimately,IamhappywithhowmylessonturnedoutandIfeelthatthestudentshaveatleastaminorgrasponhow
largethesestartsare.Understandinghowbigstarsareinrelationtoplanetshelpstounderstandhowbigstarsandtheirsolar
systemsareincomparisontonebulaeandfromtherenebulaetogalaxiesandsoon.Ididnotlearnaboutlocalstarclusters
orourlocalgalacticsupergroupuntilthecollegelevelandIthinkthatstudentstodayneedtounderstandhowmuchisstillout
theretoexploreatearlieragethantheydo.Iwasshockedbya7thgradelifescienceteachertellingmethatshehasstudents
whoareinascienceclassforthefirsttimeandthattheyarejustnowlearningtheverybasicsofscience.Itisatravestythat
thisissometimesthecaseandIthinkalessonlikethiscouldbescaleddowntoanevenyoungeragetojumpstartthewonder
thatspaceanditsvastnesscaninvokeinyoungminds.

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