THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: Moon Sample By Automated Vehicle in 1970

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Note: This resource is part of the STAO Grade Six Space Unit User Guide. Click here to access the parent resource.

Expectations/Big Ideas:

  • Earth is part of a large interrelated system.
  • Investigate characteristics of the systems that Earth is a part.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of components of the systems of which the earth is a part.

Description of task:
Students will write a communication response which will require them to use scientific terminology, examples and diagrams to explain a particular phenomena that results from the movement of different bodies (Earth and Moon) in space.

Download: Communication Response as a summative

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Assessment Tool:

Rubric – will evaluate understanding and communication skills
Checklist – will evaluate students’ ability to meet identified criteria of an effective scientific response.

Assessment Criteria/ Look Fors:

  • Understanding of the earth, its movements, and its relationship with the Sun and our Moon.
  • Ability to express and organize ideas and information
  • Inclusion of all required components of an effective communication response

BIG IDEAS
Astronomical phenomena have had a profound effect on human culture. The shapes, relative sizes, and motions of the earth, moon, and sun produce these phenomena: day and night, seasons, moon phases, eclipses, and tides.

SUMMARY OF CONTENT
The earth, moon, and sun are spheres with relative diameters 1, 1/4, and 100. The sun emits light; the earth and moon shine by reflected light only. The earth rotates on its axis each day, producing day and night. It also revolves around the sun each year, producing the annual changes in the visible stars. Because the earth’s axis of rotation is tilted, relative to upright, we experience seasons, because the sun is higher in the sky and above the horizon longer in summer . The moon revolves around the earth each month. The changes in the sun’s illumination of the moon causes it’s phases. Eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun (solar eclipse) or when the moon passes into the earth’s shadow (lunar eclipse) but, because the moon’s orbit is slightly tilted, relative to the earth’s, eclipses do not occur every month. Tides – a difficult topic – are caused by the fact that the moon’s or sun’s gravity pulls more strongly on the side of the earth nearest to them. These phenomena have been used for navigation, time-keeping, and calendars for thousands of years.

CURRICULUM EXPECTATIONS

2.1 follow established safety procedures for handling tools and materials and observing the sun (e.g., use appropriate eye protection when testing a sundial)
2.2 use technological problem-solving skills (see page 16) to design, build, and test devices (e.g., a sundial, a model of the earth’s rotation around the sun) for investigating the motions of different bodies in the solar system Sample guiding questions: In what direction does your sundial fin need to point? Why? In what direction might you expect the shadow to move? How would daylight saving time affect the accuracy of your sundial? How might your model of the earth and sun best be used to explain the reason for day and night? What impact does the tilt of the earth’s axis have on cycles on earth? What does the earth do to cause the day and night cycle?
2.4 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including axis, tilt, rotation, revolution, planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, in oral and written communication
2.5 use a variety of forms (e.g., oral, written, graphic, multimedia) to communicate with different audiences and for a variety of purposes (e.g., use a graphic organizer to identify and order main ideas and supporting details for a report about how science and technology can help humans adapt to life in space)
3.5 describe the effects of the relative positions and motions of the earth, moon, and sun (e.g. use models or simulations to show solar and lunar eclipses, phases of the moon, tides)

 

ENABLING LESSONS LEADING UP TO THE CULMINATING TASK
Lesson Goal(s) and/or Focus of Instruction Description of Student task Diagnostic or Formative Assessment Assessment tool How will you know when each child has reached the goals? Assessment Criteria/Look Fors:
1A Students complete diagnostic questionnaire to determine prior knowledge and misconceptions they bring into the key learning of the many phenomenon that we experience here on Earth. Write D anecdotal Read diagnostic questionnaires submitted by students. Record major misconceptions as well as areas of strength for both individuals as well as the group.

Download:   Here on Earth diagnostic

A A natural beginning to learning about Earth is to consider creation stories of various cultures. A PowerPoint presentation is included that introduces three examples of creation stories. This lesson also models the Somebody Wanted But So reading strategy for summarizing.

Download: Earth’s Creation

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anecdotal
Students work in groups to summarize a creation story using the Somebody Wanted But So summarizing strategy. Each group creates the graphic organizer on chart paper and then presents their ideas to the class.
3A A natural curiosity of our countries first people would have been about our Sun and how it appears to move through the sky.At first it was assumed that because the Sun “moved” through the sky that the Sun revolved around the Earth. The video below gives an overview of how the profound shift of belief of a sun centred solar system came to be – including a brief explanation of the movements of the Earth (on its axis each day and around the Sun each year)

Video Link: Galileo’s Sun-Centered System

Applet: The Sun, Moon and Earth Applet

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anecdotal
Students submit their anticipation guide handouts. Read the response to see if students had improved their understanding the Earth rotating around the Sun, rather than the common misconception that the Earth is the centre of our solar system, or even the universe.

Download: Anticipation Guide Galileo Video

4A Many students will still have misconceptions about the Earth/Sun Relationship. Hopefully recognizing their misconceptions will help the students appreciate why it took so many years to convince people that the Sun is the centre of our solar system. The next step is help the students understand the movements of the Earth and the Earth/Sun Relationship using a kinesthetic model that shows them, and allows them to experience the movements. This understanding will be necessary leading to upcoming learning about the day/night cycle and the year cycle.

Activity:    Kinesthetic astronomy (see pages 8-10)

Download:

Activity: KA PROPS

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anecdotal
Have students write two truths and a lie regarding the Earth’s movements. Students submit the three sentences. The teacher keeps them until the next lesson, then reads them to the class, having the other students try to identify the lie from the other two true statements. By reading the statements the teacher can assess the learning form the previous day.

Below is a link to an overview of Two Truths and a Lie, as well as an example of statements that pertain to this lesson..

Download:Two Truths and a Lie Earths Movements

A variety of handouts from the creators of kinestetic astronomy can be used a formative assessment tools. They are located at the link below:

Download:KA assessments

5A Hopefully the kinesthetic activity will have helped all students to understand the movements experienced by Earth. A difficulty that many students will have even though they may have understood the movements during the activity, is to communicate this understanding during a written assessment such as a test or a communication response.The blackline master below of a communication workshop helps you explicitly teach your students to communicate effectively by identifying some communication tips and providing a mentor text for their own responses

Download: Communication Workshop Lesson Plan

Download: Communication Workshop Movements of our Earth

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anecdotal
Use criteria on the checklist (scientific terminology, examples, and diagrams to support the text) to assess the students knowledge and understanding and ability to write an effective communication response. Provide the students written feedback to improve their response.

Download: COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP CHECKLIST 8A

Download: Comm Response Rubric

6A Students use the checklists and descriptive feedback to improve their responses, and then they resubmit for conferencing.
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conference
Teacher gives further oral feedback in preparation for future communication responses and the upcoming summative evaluation.
7A Now that the students have experienced the movements of the Earth, our focus will zoom to the Earth’s movement on its axis. The activities below will allow the students to see/experience our day/night cycle.Activity: Kinesthetic astronomy (see pages 11 to 14)

Activity:   Kinesthetic astronomy (see pages 14-16)

A video of these activities in action can be seen at the link below:

Video Link: Kinesthetic Astonomy – Day/Night Cycle

Activity: Alternate lesson plan that has the students up and moving, experiencing the day/night cycle. The introduction of the lesson plan is interesting and could potentially be used as a read aloud.

Video Link: Day/Night Cartoon S nightday L

BLM: Earth Sun Relationship Student Note

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Students complete Reflection/Pause cards to reflect on their experiences with these activities.

Download: Reflection Pause day night cycle

A variety of handouts from the creators of kinestetic astronomy can be used as formative assessment tools.

This pdf can be downloaded below in the assessment column of lesson 11A.

8A Again, our next step to help prepare the students for their summative communication response is to get the students thinking about what they need to include in their response. Together as a class the students reflect on the previous days activities to identify scientific terms that they could use to demonstrate understanding of the day/night cycle. Students also reflect to recall the three components of an effective communication response. In small groups the students work together to create a model text with diagrams to explain the reasons for the seasons.

Write

Say

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anecdotal
After each group has presented their model text responses, post the communication workshop checklist on overhead. Have the student determine if the checklist requirements have been met, and to offer descriptive feedback to their classmates in the form of stars and wishes. Give students a blank checklist, have them record jot notes of the feedback. Collect the checklists to see what each student learned in terms of things done well and things that could be improved in their response.

Download: COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP CHECKLIST

9A The sun’s position has always been used as a reference of time. Students will appreciate this relationship through the creation of a sundial. Step-by-step instructions are shown on video at the following website:Video Link: Creating a Sundial

Lesson:Building and a sundial

Resource:Six Sundial Projects You Can Make

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10A Literacy Connect!Article: Two Suns in the Sky could be used for the practice of reading strategies OR students could complete independently to allow teacher time to meet with students whom still have misunderstandings regarding the day/night cycle (Before, during, and after reading questions are provided to guide independent work).

Download: Two Suns in the Sky

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anecdotal
Questions could be collected to assess comprehension or this work could simply be checked for completion.
11A In this lesson student will build on their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s tilt and its orbit around the Sun to engage in learning about the reasons for the seasons.Activity:   Kinesthetic astronomy (see pages 16-20)

Activity: Kinesthetic astronomy(see pages 21-24)

A video of these activities in action can be seen at the link below:

Video link: Kinesthetic Astonomy- Year Cycle

Applet: Reasons for Seasons Applet;Information on Applet

BLM:Earth Sun Relationship Year Cycle

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anecdotal
Students complete Reflection/Pause cards to reflect on their experiences with these activities.

Download: Reflection Pause reasons for the seasons

A variety of handouts from the creators of kinestetic astronomy can be used as formative assessment tools. They are located at the link below:

Download: KA assessments

12A Hopefully the kinesthetic activity will have helped all students to understand the reasons for the seasons on Earth. Another communication workshop is provided below as a means to explicitly model an effective communication response with students in preparation for their summative communication response.

Download: COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP CHECKLIST 12A

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checklist/ rubric
Use criteria on checklist (scientific terminology, examples, and diagrams to support the text) to assess the students knowledge and understanding and ability write an effective communication response. Provide the students written feedback to improve their response.

Download: COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP CHECKLIST 12A

Download: Comm Response Rubric 12A

13A Students use the checklists and descriptive feedback to improve their responses, and then they resubmit for conferencing.
Write
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conference
Teacher gives further oral feedback in preparation for future communication responses and the upcoming summative evaluation.
14A Students should now have an understanding of the astronomical meaning of the day and the year, but why do we organize our year into months? The links below provide resources for teaching students the phases of the moon, and more importantly, why we see the phases of the moon.

Applet: Phases of the Moon

Download: Moon phases

Video: Phases of the Moon

Resource: Additional Activities for Exploring the Moon

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Students complete exit cards to reflect on their learning in this lesson.

Download: Exit Card The Moon

15A Building on students understanding of the movements of the Earth and Moon in reference to the Sun, we can introduce the concept of the solar and lunar eclipse.Lesson Plan: Lesson on Solar Eclipse

Applet: Applet on Solar and Lunar Eclipse; Applet on Eclipses

BLM: Solar lunar eclipse 15A

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anecdotal
Students complete exit cards to reflect on their learning in this lesson.

Download: Exit Card Eclipses

16A This section concludes with connecting the effect of the tides to the position of our moon.

Video:NASA Video on Tides

Video:Video on Tides at the Bay of Fundy

Do
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anecdotal
Have students write two truths and a lie regarding the Earth’s movements.

Students submit the three sentences. The teacher keeps them until the next lesson, then reads them to the class, having the other students try to identify the lie from the other two true statements. By reading the statements the teacher can assess the learning form the previous day.

GLOSSARY
Earth The Earth is the planet on which we live – the third planet from the sun.

Eclipse An eclipse happens when the moon blocks the Sun or the Earth’s shadow falls on the moon

Moon A moon is a body that orbits around a planet. Many planets have moons.

Orbit An orbit is a elliptical (closed) path that an object takes as it revolves around another body.

Phases of the Moon Phases of the moon: the changing appearance of the moon, during the month, as it orbits the earth, and the sun shines on it from different directions.

Planet A planet is a large celestial body that orbits a star and does not shine on its own. [There are eight planets orbiting the sun in our solar system.]

Revolve To move in orbit around another body.
Rotate To turn or spin around a central axis.. [One planetary day is defined as the time it takes the a planet to rotate around its axis.]

Satelite Satellites are objects that orbit a planet or a moon. Many man-made satellites and one natural satellite (the Moon) orbit the Earth.

Season Part of a natural cycle of change in the conditions on a planet, such as temperature, as it orbits its star. [The seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis.]
Star A glowing ball of gas, much larger than a planet, which produces its own energy; the sun is a star.
Sun The Sun is a star at the center of our solar system. Our Sun is a medium-sized yellow star that is 93,026,724 miles (149,680,000 km) from Earth. Its diameter is 865,121 miles (1,391,980 km).

Tides. A tide is a periodic rise and fall of large bodies of water, caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon.

MISCONCEPTIONS
  • The sun revolves around the earth each day.
  • Seasonal changes in temperature are caused by the earth’s changing distance from the sun.
  • Moon phases are caused by the moon passing into the earth’s shadow.
CANADIAN CONTENT AND CONTRIBUTIONS
  • Canada’s Aboriginal peoples used the sky for navigation, and for time-keeping for practical and ceremonial purposes.
  • Astronomy was used for precision surveying e.g. of the Trans-Canadian railway.
  • Canadian engineer Sandford Fleming was responsible for popularizing the need for standard time, and was one of the key figures in its implementation.

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