This set of lessons is inspired by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., whose philosophy of building "core knowledge" in students emphasizes basic knowledge about science and the world around us. These lessons were designed for an advanced 6th grade literacy class, but could easily be adapted for upper middle school grades or even 9th grade.
This download includes a unit overview with lesson objectives and outcomes, as well as 5-6 days' worth of lesson plans, depending on how long your classes are. The lessons cover early scientific thinkers like Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo, the planets and life cycle of a star, and a close-reading and analysis of Galileo's life, trial and sentencing. The final lesson/s includes a primary source analysis and written response, with a range of sources of varying challenge levels.