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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
The sun is a star that produces heat and light. The sun has rays that provide the heat and light that is essential for life on Earth. It supports life through photosynthesis in plants, and provides warmth and light. In addition to supporting life on Earth, sunlight is critical to human physical and psychological well-being. The benefits of the sun include keeping Earth’s temperatures warm enough to sustain life, providing light, and helping plants grow by providing food.
The sun’s energy comes from nuclear reactions in its core. This reaction, called fusion (joining), is produced by the joining of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms forming helium. The byproducts of this reaction are energy (heat and light). The Sun provides heat and light energy (amongst other forms of energy) that are vital for life on Earth. This occurs because heat travels to cooler places.
Our sun (109 times wider than Earth) is an average-sized star and it has been burning for about 4.5 billion years. The sun is a nuclear furnace that is a source of energy that does not pollute. Due to its enormous mass, pressure in the interior of the sun reaches temperatures of almost 16 million degrees C, (28.8 million F). About four million tons of the sun’s matter turns into energy every second and only one-billionth of the sun’s light ever strikes Earth.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Begin the lesson by playing the Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun.” Introduce the unit by having the students brainstorm as many words or phases that have the word sun in them. (e.g., sunbeam, Sunday, sundae, suntan, sunburn, sunscreen, Sun Chips, sunlight, sunstroke, Sun Bear, etc.)
Have three paper suns cut out of yellow paper. The three suns will be the KWL chart. In the first sun write down all of the things the students know about the sun. In the second sun write down what the students want to learn. At the end of the unit write down what the students learned in the third sun. Hang the suns in the room and add to them as needed.
Hot Dog Cooker
Barton, M. L., & Jordan, D. (2001). Teaching reading in science. Aurora, CO: Midcontinent Research for Education and Learning.
Prior knowledge, which is developed and enhanced through science inquiries, is the strongest predictor of student ability to make inferences from text.
Donovan, M. S., Bransford, J. D., & Pellegrino, J. W. (Eds.). (1999). How people learn: Bridging research and practice. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Writing is another way for students to discover, organize, summarize and communicate knowledge. Writing makes thinking processes concrete and increases retention of concepts. The act of writing gives a student access to his or her own thinking processes, enabling the construction of new understanding that is meaningful and applicable. Writing assignments in science have shown to generate reasoning about data.
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