Lesson Objectives – You may choose to show this slide to the students or you can hide it during the presentation.
Lesson Essential Questions – You may choose to show this slide to the students or you can hide it during the presentation.
ENGAGE (45 minutes) Stimulate Interest Take students on a discovery field trip around the school and on the school grounds. Choose a sunny day for this. Find locations where the sun shines on counters, walls, floors, doors, playground surfaces, equipment, etc. Encourage and allow students to touch a variety of surfaces, both those in the sun and those not in the sun, so they can compare the warming effect of the sun on objects. Do some kinds of surfaces, both in the sun and not, feel warmer than others? Can they tell how long the sun has been shining on a surface? Use this field trip to stimulate interest in the heating effect of the sun on objects on Earth.
To stimulate student interest in the lesson, show the video segment The Sun . This video reviews the properties of the sun and how the sun makes life on Earth possible. Discussing this video segment will activate student background knowledge, and prepare students to learn more about the sun.
Activate Prior Knowledge After watching the video segment, tell students that they will be learning important facts about the sun in this lesson. Ask them an open-ended question, such as “How does life on Earth depend on the sun?” or “Why does the sun appear to move?” Allow them a few minutes to provide answers to the question. Note any misconceptions they may have about the sun, and discuss their responses to build their knowledge about the sun.
Hands-On Activity Students will complete the Hands-On Activity Sun Protection .
Guided Inquiry Have students respond to the essential questions by exploring the Discovery Education resources listed in the Explore section. Ideally, each student will use more than one resource for information, but no student is expected to use all of the resources within the time allotted. Encourage students to take notes as they explore. If your students have never before performed a guided inquiry using the DE resources, you will likely need to lead them through the process of selecting appropriate resources, reviewing them, and taking notes. It is appropriate to use a “think aloud” to model this process for them yourself to demonstrate how to gather the information. Review the essential questions that they will be answering for this section. Ask students what kinds of resources will likely help them understand hydroelectric energy. For example, you might point students to the glossary terms that have been sorted with this concept. Students might want to begin by reviewing these terms, and then look for additional resources that mention these terms. For example, the video segment titled “Hydroelectric Power” might provide additional information related to the essential questions. Model this process to the entire class for at least a few resources. Encourage students to proceed through the resources in this way. If needed, you may want to further guide students by asking more specific questions: Where does geothermal energy come from? What types of geologic conditions or processes allow for the release of geothermal energy? How does geothermal energy produce steam? How is steam used to generate electricity? Circulate among the students as they are exploring and challenge them to summarize for you what they have learned. Encourage students to use reading, viewing, and note-taking strategies to get the most out of each resource.
Have students do a Think-Pair-Share in which they answer this question: How does the location of the Earth allow it to support life? Have students share their conclusions with the class. Students should know that the Earth is just the right distance from the sun for the sun to provide the Earth with heat and light. This heat and light make life possible on Earth. Make sure that students know that the sun is only visible during the daytime, and that all of the other stars we can see are so far away they appear as only small points of light.
Next, have students watch the video segment Our Solar System . Instruct students to take notes as they view.
To reinforce the concept that energy from the sun, in the form of radiant energy, heats objects (air, soil, water, rocks, plant material, etc.) on Earth, show students the DE video segment Solar Energy. The resource introduces the concept of the greenhouse effect to students. Follow viewing the segment with a review and discussion of the greenhouse effect and elicit student experiences with examples and applications of the greenhouse effect.
Allow them a few minutes to provide answers to the question. Note any misconceptions they may have about the sun, and discuss their responses to build their knowledge about the sun. Note: the timer is set up for a 3 minute count
Have students write their answers to the “Think About” questions in their journals… this will also serve as a spot check for understanding.
Once students have thoroughly explored the resources for this lesson, instruct them to complete the Exploration Our Star the Sun . This Exploration examines the composition of the sun and details how it is important for life on Earth, effectively summarizing most of the Essential Questions. Circulate as students work on the student worksheet and answer any of their questions.
ELABORATE (15 minutes) Have students build a pinhole projector to safely view the sun. To do this, students punch a small hole in a piece of cardstock or thin cardboard. They then point this at the sun (remind them to never look directly at the sun). Then, students hold a thin piece of white paper in front of the hole, and an image of the sun is projected onto the piece of white paper. The reading passage A Sun-sational Journey details this process. Have students make observations of the sun over several days and compile their results into a poster, complete with sun facts, illustrations, and observations. To ensure student safety demonstrate and oversee this process.
Answer will float in on click Answer: Hydropower is the energy of moving water. Hydropower occurs naturally when water flows over a waterfall. It can also be created by building a dam and forcing the water to flow through the dam, creating an artificial waterfall. The water flowing through a dam moves very quickly and has a lot of energy that is used to turn a turbine. When the turbine spins, it turns a generator which transforms the hydropower into electrical energy
Project Ideas: To help your students apply their understanding of the subconcepts, you may wish to have your students complete some or all of the following projects. The time required to complete each project will vary; some may require students to work outside the classroom. Continuing on the theme of the Three Gorges Dam activity, have students further research the pros and cons of dams and hydroelectric power plants. They can present the findings of their research in a poster that compares the costs and benefits—both financial and ecological—of hydroelectric power. Have students research geothermal energy resources to determine where new geothermal energy reservoirs might be found. Students should apply their knowledge of Earth science (plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes) to determine where new sites may exist. They should create a map showing potential areas for geothermal energy reservoirs, and explain their justification for choosing each site. Students can expand on the Hands-on Activity by turning their waterwheels into hydroelectric turbines. Students should research the construction of simple generators using magnets and wire, and the devise a way for their waterwheels to spin the magnet and create electricity. Students should present their projects to the class in a demonstration, or videotape the demonstration and show the class the video.
Our Star the Sun Grades 3-5
Lesson ObjectivesBy the end of this lesson, students should be able to:•Know that our sun is one of billions of stars in theuniverse•Describe ways the sun is important for life on Earth•Know the two gases that make up the majority of the sun•Explain that radiant energy from the Sun can heatobjects
Lesson Essential Questions• What are the properties of our Sun?• Why is the Sun important to life on Earth?• What happens to objects that are exposed to the sun?
Key Vocabulary• Astronomy• Energy• Filament• Heat The universe is home to many• Light galaxies. Our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy.• Radiant Energy• Radiation • Telescope• Solar System • Ultraviolet• Star • Universe
The Sunny Side of School Ask yourself: As you take a •Do some surfaces feel discovery trip warmer than others? throughout your •Can you tell how long school, try to find the sun has been the sunniest spots shining on a surface? and surfaces. •What effects does the sun have on objects on Earth.
The Sun: Too Hot to Handle!Link to A Huge Furnace
While you view the following video, thinkabout these questions:• How does the location of Earth allow it to support life?• When is the sun visible?• Why do all other stars appear as only small points of light?
Review: The Greenhouse Effect Take a few minutes and think about the Greenhouse Effect.•What is the Greenhouse Effect?•How does the Greenhouse Effect impact peopletoday?•Can you name some examples and applications ofthe Greenhouse Effect?
The Sun and Us Work with a Include: partner to create a •Its size •Its composition labeled diagram of •Its energy output the sun.
Exploring the StarsLink to the Exploration: Our Star the Sun
Safely Viewing the SunAfter reading the passage A Sun-sational Journey, followthese easy steps to make your own pinhole projector andsafely observe the sun.1)Punch a small hole in a piece of thin cardboard.2)Without looking directly at the sun, point the board at thesun.3)Hold a thin piece of white paper in front of hole.4)Voila! An image of the sun is projected onto the piece ofpaper.5)Using your pinhole projector, observe the sun over the nextseveral days and compile your results into a poster to sharewith the class.
Check For UnderstandingOur Star the Sun Why is the Sun important to life on Earth?• The Sun is our closest star• The Sun provides us with heat and light• Without heat and light from the Sun, plants and animals would not be able to survive on Earth
Homework Ideas• Have students conduct research to extend their knowledge of the sun. They should expand their knowledge by studying things that are not included in the lesson sub- concepts. Ideas include the sun’s core, the layers of the sun’s atmosphere, the future of the sun, solar flares, solar wind, and sunspots. Have students present their findings in a brief oral report to their classmates.• Have students write a science fiction story based on the sun. Allow them to choose their own story idea, or assign ideas to students. Possible ideas include travel to the sun or a world without the sun. Challenge students to include facts about the sun in their stories, and then havestudents share their stories with their classmates.