Our Super Star

Contributor
WGBH
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This is a three part lesson where students use observations, activities, and videos to learn basic facts about the Sun. Students also model the mechanics of day and night and use solar energy to make a tasty treat. One of the videos is a time-lapse video of a sunrise and a sunset.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 1
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

1-ESS1-2 Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on relative comparisons of the amount of daylight in the winter to the amount in the spring or fall.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to relative amounts of daylight, not quantifying the hours or time of daylight.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The lesson makes connections of observation of the sun with cardinal directions as a support to finding the sun in the sky. It is recommended that the students record their observations, use sunglasses and use nonstandard measurement to document the sun's position in the sky. To meet the Performance Expectation the students must observe the position of the sun at specific times of the day throughout the school year. This can be done both through first hand observations and using a NASA website to gain media observations. The last section dealing with energy of the sun goes beyond the scope of the Performance Expectation..

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Track the position of the sun throughout the year in a class journal or in individual journals. This gives the students an opportunity to look at the data over time so that they can ask questions and develop wonderings based on the evidence that they have collected.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
A teacher should read the background information provided with the second video before presenting the video to the class. The last section dealing with energy of the sun goes beyond the scope of the disciplinary core ideas.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The pattern's made by daily by the sun provide real life connections with students. This lesson offers exploration for the students tracking of the sun: what window it shines in at different times of the day, shadows it produces and its height compared to the environment. The objectives are not written in NGSS form. The last section dealing with energy of the sun goes beyond the scope of the crosscutting concept idea.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The suggested time for this lesson is three days to learn the procedure and then have students do observations of the Sun a few times during specific days each month continuing throughout the year.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson is straightforward and direct. It does not have handouts, anchor chart or suggestions for ELL learners.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Discussion questions are provided. Formative, summative, and self assessment measures, that address three-dimensional learning, are not provided.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Three of the four short video's related to this lesson address the NGSS standard. The first video is a time lapse of the sun crossing the sky. The second video addresses the the idea of the place of the sun in our universe. The third video's emphasis is the characteristics of the sun as a star. The last video demonstrates how to use solar power to cook s'mores. That activity exceeds the scope of the NGSS standard.