Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark
Benchmark Question: How do objects in the solar system
Focus Question: How does the gravitational pull of
objects in the solar system affect revolution?
Students will brainstorm a
list of objects in the solar system. Using this list, students will connect
prior knowledge to how the objects move. Students may remember information
about Halley’s Comet and how it returns to the Earth’s view every
seventy-six years. This could spark a discussion on where the comet is when
we can’t see it.
Students will have prior
knowledge about some celestial objects; the teacher will direct discussion
accordingly. By the end of the discussion, students should gain an
understanding of how objects revolve around the Sun. Students will
demonstrate that understanding by role-playing a solar system. Students
will write a role-play in groups that demonstrate how planets, comets, and
other objects revolve around the Sun.
Some natural questions will
arise once students begin to write. Students will question why “moons” or
natural satellites revolve around planets and not the Sun. The teacher will
facilitate a discussion about gravity and get students to arrive at answers
to their own questions. Students will create a relative-size model of the
Sun and planets. See the chart below for the scale model.
From this model, students
will be able to visualize how large the Sun is compared to the rest of the
planets. Students will relate size to gravitational pull.