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Subject/Grade: Science 5/6
Teacher: Chelsey Croft
Time: 90 mins Title: Planets
Outcomes/Indicators/Modified Indicators Outcomes/Indicators: Outcome SS6.1: Research and represent the physical characteristics of the major components of the solar system, including the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Indicator SS6.1g: Create scale distance and/or scale size models to represent the major components of the solar system. Indicator SS6.1a: Use a variety of sources and technologies to gather and compile pertinent information about the physical characteristics of the major components of the solar system. Modified Indicator: Using a scale model, mnemonic device, and a virtual solar system, gather and compile information about the 8 (9) planets within our solar system, including the reasons that Pluto is no longer considered to be a planet.
Key Understandings: (‘I Can’ statements)
•Students can see how small Earth is relative to our huge solar system. •Students can name all of the planets in order from closest to furthest from the sun. •Students understand what criteria that must be met to be considered a planet.
•What obstacles are associated with space travel? •What obstacles are preventing/allowing humans to inhabit another planet? •How can scientific research and First Nations knowledge both provide insight to our solar system.
Assessment: •Formative Assessment: -This formative assessment is based on class participation and understanding. ◦ Does student understand what the ‘fruit model’ represents (verbally ask). ◦ Does student understand how to use to use the ‘virtual solar system’ ◦ Does student participate in the creation of the mnemonic device. •Summative assessment based on a ‘Planets’ worksheet. -This worksheet will have them list the planets in order from closest to the sun to farthest from the sun.
Set/Development/Closure: Set: Time: 5 to 7 mins •Have the ‘fruit model’ previously set up on a table at the front of the classroom. -Mercury (peppercorn), Venus (cherry tomato), Earth (cherry tomato), Mars (blueberry), Jupiter (water melon), Saturn (grapefruit), Uranus (apple), Neptune (lime), Pluto (grape seed). -The sun is not represented as it is too huge (~10 times larger than Jupiter)
-This is set up ahead of time to ‘grab’ the students’ attention and curiosity.
Time: ~70 mins
~8 to 10 mins •Give the students a couple minutes to look at the display at the front of the room. •Ask students if they know what this ‘fruit model’ represents? How do they know this? -I have a feeling the students (or some of them at least) will know what this represents right away. ~10 mins •Now what are the criteria of being a planet? 1. It must independently orbit the sun (moons cannot be considered planets because they orbit planets, not the sun). 2. It must have enough mass that its own gravity ‘pulls’ it into a spherical shape (the planet is roughly a round shape shape). 3. Must be large enough to ‘dominate’ its orbit (its mass must be much larger than anything else which crosses its orbit). -Draw pictures on the board o help explain each of the three criteria. ~15 to 18 mins •Ask students if they can name all 8 (9) planets (in order from the Sun out). -For the sake of this activity we will be including Pluto as a planet. •As a class, we will create a mnemonic device to remember the planets in order from closest to the sun to furthest from the sun. -Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, (Pluto) -Example: My Very Excellent Mom Just Served Us Nine Pizzas -We may brainstorm a few words for each ‘letter/planet’. I would get a student to write that word on the board. -As a class, we will eventually ‘narrow’ it down to a cohesive mnemonic device. ***BRAIN BREAK*** (~5 mins) ~12 to 15 mins •Ask students if they notice anything maybe a little bit incorrect with these planets or with this mnemonic device? -This is that there are 9 planets, but now there are technically only 8 planets. -In 2006 astronomers decided that Pluto was no longer to be considered a planet. •Ask students which criteria they think Pluto does not meet? -This will be done in a ‘hands up vote’ for each of the three criteria. -The answer: Pluto does not ‘dominate’ its orbit! •Explanation (show picture of Kuiper Belt on the projection screen): -Beyond Neptune there is a space filled with trillions of icy objects, known as the Kuiper Belt. -In addition to billions/trillions of comets and other icy debris, the Kuiper belt is also made up of dwarf planets, including Pluto, Eris, and Neptune’s ‘captured’ moon, Triton. -As you can see from the picture, Pluto does not ‘dominate’ its orbit, and therefor is now considered a dwarf planet.
~8 to 10 mins •On the laptop/projector bring up the website http://www.solarsystemscope.com/ -The website is a virtual solar system in which you can click on any planet in the solar system and find out basic facts about them. -Tell the students that after the break we will be using this website, along with many others to research more details about each planet. And that they will be the ones doing the researching!
Time: ~8 to 10 mins
•Give each student an exit slip (Planets worksheet), in which they are asked to name all of the 9 planets. Bonus marks given if the students list them in order from closest to farthest from the Sun. -Tell students it may be helpful to write down their mnemonic device first.
Materials/Equipment: •Fruit (listed above) to make the scale model of planets. •Device to bring up virtual solar system website.
Management Strategies: •Let students have their own time to look at the scale model. •Give students a ‘brain break’ half way through the lesson. •Make mnemonic as a class; get students to write words on board.
Safety Considerations: •Tell the students not to eat, throw, or even touch of the food in the ‘fruit model’.
Possible Adaptations/ Differentiation: •Make mnemonic device as a class. Use this to help students remember the planets’ names and their order from the Sun. •Allow students to see the ‘size’ differentiation of the planets. •Show students a website that they can access in home and at school to find out information about our solar system. Allow them to use it in class.
Sources: •Virtual Solar System: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/ •Criteria to be a Planet: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/physics/56-our-solar-system/planets-and-dwarfplanets/general-questions/229-what-are-the-requirements-for-being-a-planet-beginner https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/pluto.html
•Kuiper Belt Info: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/kbos/indepth http://www.space.com/16144-kuiper-belt-objects.html