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Astronomy: Model the Sun’s Path; Make a Classroom Sundial

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Product Rating
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1 MB|14 pages
Product Description
Two lab experiments exploring how the sun moves in the sky and how sundials work to tell time. Designed for students and optimized for teachers, these labs will engage and fascinate students. Scaffolded writing prompts allow students of different abilities to engage with the same content. Why do clocks run clockwise? I know that the sun’s location changes during the day, but how does my location affect what I see? Watch your students become scientists as they dig into these intriguing questions.

By starting with the scientific phenomena, you'll be intrigued and excited to dig deeper into the why’s and how’s of each scientific concept. Beautifully illustrated and well laid out, these lab activities are easy to use from the very first page. Experiments are clearly organized and written to the student so they do not need to be pre-digested by a teacher before beginning. Helpful tips throughout the experiments and the Teacher Notes leave the reader in no doubt about how to perform or understand an experiment.

Both the teacher and the student are addressed so no additional books are needed. Engaging Science Labs are useful for classroom or homeschool environments.

Science and Engineering Practices
• Develop and/or use a model to predict and/or describe phenomena. Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.

Crosscutting Concepts 4. Systems and System Models:
• Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large…
• Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions

Virginia VA SOL
ES.3 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of Earth and the solar system. Key concepts include
b. sun-Earth-moon relationships; (seasons, tides, and eclipses);

UK National Curriculum Key Stage 3
Phy: Matter: Space physics
• the seasons and the Earth’s tilt, day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres

Texas TEKS Grade 6
Earth and space. 11 (A) describe the physical properties, locations, and movements of the Sun

Topics Addressed
• The sun’s apparent position depends on your viewing location
• Sundials run clockwise only in the northern hemisphere

Materials Needed
string, tape, wooden dowel (or ring stand), lamp with a clear bulb, masking tape

Answer Key
Extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to.

Time Required
The two lab activities will each take about 20–30 minutes (plus time to install the “suns”)

Student Sheets
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting

Other resources
Click here to see companion curricular pieces:
Space Science & Astronomy Resources

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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