APS Science Curriculum Unit Planner

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1 APS Science Curriculum Unit Planner Grade Level/Topic Science 6 Earth/Space Interrelationships Stage 1: Desired Results Enduring Understanding Our solar system is made up of many different bodies in relationship to each other. Humans use science to organize their understanding of the natural world through evidence, models, and explanations. Correlations VA SOL: 6.1 The student will plan and conduct investigations in which a) observations are made involving fine discrimination between similar objects and organisms; b) a classification system is developed based on multiple attributes; c) precise and approximate measurements are recorded; d) scale models are used to estimate distance, volume, and quantity; e) hypotheses are stated in ways that identify the independent (manipulated) and dependent (responding) variables; f) a method is devised to test the validity of predictions and inferences; h) data are collected, recorded, analyzed, and reported using appropriate metric measurements; i) data are organized and communicated through graphical representation (graphs, charts, and diagrams); j) models are designed to explain a sequence; and k) an understanding of the nature of science is developed and reinforced. 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 a) the sun, moon, Earth, other planets and their moons, meteors, asteroids, and comets; b) relative size of and distance between planets; c) the role of gravity; d) revolution and rotation; e) the mechanics of day and night and the phases of the moon; f) the unique properties of Earth as a planet; g) the relationship of the Earth s tilt and the seasons; h) the cause of tides; and i) the history and technology of space exploration. Essential Questions How are the parts of a system related to each other? What defines our solar system? What makes Earth unique within our solar system? How does movement affect Earth and the life on it? What do humans learn by exploring space? What is the role of gravity in the solar system?

2 Knowledge and Skills Students should know: Contents of our solar system and the characteristics that define each body Differences between inner and outer planets The effects of gravity in our solar system Aspects of revolution in our solar system The difference between rotation and revolution How a dwarf planets differs from a planet Cause of the phases of the moon The effect of Earth s rotation day and night How Earth differs from other planets and its characteristics Contributions of Ptolemy, Aristotle, Copernicus, and Galileo to the development of the understanding of our solar system The effects of technology development on our understanding of the solar system Students should be able to: Compare and contrast the different planets, including their relative distances from the sun Explain Pluto s designation as a dwarf planet based on its characteristics as compared to other planets Design and interpret a scale model of the solar system Explain the role of gravity in the solar system Compare and contrast rotation and revolution and apply the terms in relation to planets and their moons Model and describe the occurrence of Earth s day and night Model and describe the cause of seasons on Earth Describe how Earth is unique as compared to other bodies in the solar system Describe the significance of Earth s moon and how it affects tides Compare and contrast the ideas of Ptolemy, Aristotle, Copernicus, and Galileo as they contributed to our understanding of the solar system Create and interpret a timeline highlighting the advancements in the exploration of our solar system over the past half century. Stage 2: Assessment Evidence Prior Knowledge and Skills The Sun s relative position in the morning versus the afternoon Patterns of night and day, simple phases of the moon, tides, and seasons The organization and relative sizes of planets in the solar system Formative Assessment Illustrate Earth s rotation and revolution in reference to the Sun and moon, including the effects on Earth Create a timeline that highlights contributions over the last half century that include rockets, satellites, orbital missions, moon missions, Mars explorers, and outer planet exploration Summative Assessment Unit test Sequence phases of the moon Develop or complete a concept map that highlights the relationships between the key concepts in astronomy, including the moon, Earth, rotation, revolution, moon phases, seasons, tilt, day and night, philosopher ideals

3 Using the relative gravity of Earth, calculate the impact of gravity on other bodies in doing tasks normally done on Earth Identify the unique features of Earth Develop a scale model of the solar system that includes relative planet size and distance from the sun. Model the phases of the moon as they appear on Earth and in space in relationship to the Sun Create Fakebook profile pages for Ptolemy, Aristotle, Copernicus, and Galileo that includes Friends (other philosophers who agreed with their ideas), books and movies they would like (based on their ideas), where they live, and status updates (what they were thinking and doing). Using a gallery walk-through, students create a timeline of philosophers and ideas based on information their classmates have collected and additional pieces added to timeline Predict phases of the moon given phases on a calendar Matching vocabulary terms to definition using manipulatives Students have conceptual conversations about key concepts in astronomy, taking notes on each other s contributions and ideas Stage 3: Learning Plan References to Adopted Materials AIMS Earth Science Glencoe Astronomy Chapters 1, 2, 3 Suggested Investigations VDOE Enhanced Scope and Sequence AIMS Earth Science Lining Up the Planets, Can You Planet?, Planetary Facts, Spacing Out the System, Planetary Scavenger Hunt, Gravity Tracks, Galactic Games, Magnetic Lines, Facing Up to the Moon, Green Sleeves, Tide Height, Probing Our Solar System, Space Shuttle Sequence Glencoe Astronomy Chapter 1: Launch Lab (distortion by Earth s atmosphere), Mini Lab: Modeling a Satellite, Cities in Space (debate); Chapter 2: Launch Lab (modeling rotation and revolution), Mini Lab Comparing the Sun and the Moon, Moon Phases and

4 Eclipses; Chapter 3: Launch Lab (crater development), Planetary Orbits, Mini Lab Inferring the Effects of Gravity, Solar System Distance Model (include all bodies) Simulate crater formation by using flour in bowls and having students drop marbles from varying heights. Cocoa powder can be added to the top to better view rays formed with the craters. Students collect, record, graph, and analyze data and use it to predict the formation of craters on the moon. Investigate theories as to how the moon s craters formed. ( Astronomical Scale of Stellar Distances Using 3-D Models by Chuck Fidler and Sharon Dotger (NSTA Science Scope, November 2010) Moon Anomolies from NASA (students investigate and debate possible solutions to moon s formations) - s.html A High-Stakes Test Intervention (moon phase models as viewed from Earth and space) by Julie Jackson and Angela Castro (NSTA Science Scope, January 2011) A Sun-Earth-Moon Activity to Develop Student Understanding of Lunar Phases and Frames of Reference by Scott Ashmann (NSTA Science Scope, February 2012) Exploring the Solar System?: Let the Math Teachers Help! (NSTA, February 2012) Outdoor Education Applications With the assistance of the Planetarium, arrange a time to view the sun during the day using a telescope with the correct filters. Resources Websites NASA The Scale of the Universe - The Dynamic Earth: The Solar System (Smithsonian) - Astronomy for Kids - Solar System Exploration (NASA) - NOVA Interactive Solar System - Solar System Scope - Interactive Model of solar system - Videos Discovery Channel The Day We Left Earth Eyewitness Video - Planets Online Clips Brain Pop! Seasons, Solstice and Equinox, Moon, Tides, Solar System, Gravity Discovery Streaming Exploring Space: The Inner Planets, Exploring Space: The Outer Planets, A Spin Around the Solar System: The Small Pieces, Bill Nye: Greatest Discoveries Astronomy National Geographic Kids: Solar System kids/ Field Trips

5 Planetarium National Air and Space Museum Udvar Hazy Museum APS Science 2012

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