Astronomy: Our Place in Space—A collection of lab activities + Videos

Astronomy: Our Place in Space—A collection of lab activities + Videos
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    Bundle Description

    This is the full collection of videos and written labs. All of the instructions are written directly to students so you won't have to introduce the labs unless you want to. Check out the individual resources for previews.

    Questions Addressed

    ❑ Can you tell the seasons from the stars we see?

    ❑ How can you use a sundial to tell direction?

    ❑ How do the stars we see depend on our location on Earth?

    ❑ How does a sundial in the southern hemisphere differ from one in the northern hemisphere?

    ❑ How does the length of day change depending on our latitude?

    ❑ How does the sun's path appear when viewed from the southern hemisphere?

    ❑ How does the sun's path differ depending on our latitude?

    ❑ How does the sun's position appear to change each day?

    ❑ What does the location of sunrise and sunset depend upon?

    ❑ When and where does the sun pass directly overhead?

    ❑ When does the sun rise exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west?

    ❑ Why are the zodiac constellations important astronomically?

    ❑ Why do clocks run clockwise?

    ❑ Why is it wrong to call March 20th the Vernal Equinox?

    ❑ How do the stars we see depend on our location on Earth?

    ❑ Why are the zodiac constellations important astronomically?

    Concepts Addressed

    ♦ The Moon’s phase determines its rise and set times.

    ♦ The Moon’s phase is not caused by Earth’s shadow

    ♦ The Moon spends half of its time in our daytime sky and half in our nighttime sky

    ♦ Earth’s orientation to the sun changes as it revolves in its orbit.

    ♦ Earth’s spherical shape produces cold poles and warm equator.

    ♦ Earth’s tilt produces seasons based on its position in its orbit.

    ♦ Eclipses can only happen on two days per cycle, but are rare.

    ♦ Moon phases depend on the geometry between the Sun, Earth, and the Moon.

    ♦ Solar eclipses can only occur during the new moon phase.

    ♦ Lunar eclipse can only occur during the full moon phase.

    ♦ Moon phases occur in regular, repeating, logical patterns.

    ♦ The sun’s apparent position depends on your viewing location

    ♦ Sundials run clockwise only in the northern hemisphere

    ♦ The Sun’s location of sunrise and sunset changes each day and progresses in a recurring pattern.

    ♦ The Sun only rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west on the equinoxes.

    ♦ Earth’s orientation to the sun changes as it revolves in its orbit.

    ♦ Earth’s spherical shape produces cold poles and a warm equator.

    ♦ Earth’s tilt produces seasons based on its position in its orbit.

    ♦ Earth’s view of the constellations depends on where it is in its orbit.

    ♦ The zodiac constellations tell us where the sun is during a particular month.

    ♦ Jupiter’s moon’s apparent positions change from night to night.

    ♦ Jovian moons have different orbital periods.

    ♦ Galileo discovered four moons of Jupiter by studying their movements on subsequent nights.

    ♦ The Sun’s location of sunrise and sunset changes each day and progresses in a recurring pattern.

    ♦ The Sun only rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west on the equinoxes.

    ♦ The Sun’s path (ecliptic) changes depending on viewing location

    ♦ Solar system models are large when they include both planet size and distance.

    ♦ Compared to Earth's distance to Mars, the Moon is incredibly close.

    ♦ The inner planets are closer together while the outer planets are more spread out.

    ♦ The season of your location depends upon your latitude.

    ♦ The time zone of your location depends upon your longitude.

    Standards Addressed

    NGSS MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS1-3

    TEKS 6.11A, 8.7A, 8.8B

    VA SOL ES.3.a, ES.3.b

    Materials Needed

    Per class: 1 wooden dowel (or ring stand); 9 dowels ; 9 playground cones (optional).; clear bulb in free-standing lamp; extension cord if needed; masking tape; measuring tape (100 feet is ideal); plastic bowls can be helpful to hold basketball.

    Per lab group: Basketball; classroom globe(s); digital camera/device; smaller balls (4); sticky notes; string; tape; white ball on stick (one per student)


    Teaching Time

    Labs take between 30–40 minutes (more with writing assignments)

    Answer Key

    Answer keys are included. 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.

    Student Sheets

    • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting sheets

    Connect with me! If you enjoy this product, please leave feedback  to earn credits for future purchases! • If you have questions or problems, please let me know in the Q&A section, and I’ll get back to you asap.

    Terms of Use

    Copyright © Carolyn Balch. All rights reserved by the author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.

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    Answer Key
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