# NGSS Earth and Space Science Lesson Plans BUNDLE #4 The Earth, the Solar System

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These easy-to-use, turnkey lesson plans are aligned with the NGSS High School Earth and Space Science performance expectations and disciplinary core ideas in ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe. Each lesson plan includes a summary, a list of resources, learning outcomes, the NGSS alignment for the lesson, lesson procedures, one Science Literacy Activity. The lesson plans also include recommended discussion questions and sample responses, assessment questions and an answer key, computational problems and their solutions.

SAVE MORE by purchasing NGSS-Aligned Earth and Space Science Lesson Plans MEGA BUNDLE - 50+ Turnkey Lesson Plans with teaching resources: Earth’s Place in the Universe

UNIT 4 THE EARTH AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM (INCLUDING THE ORBITAL MOTION IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM)

Lesson Plan 27. Kepler’s First Law of Planetary Motion and the Orbital Motion of the Earth (with Science Literacy Activity #27 - The Starship Earth)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain why we do not feel the Earth’s motion through space.
• Describe how the Earth’s motion through space explains the nature of shooting stars.
• Calculate the distance the Earth travels around the Sun every year.
• Calculate the orbital speed of the Earth.
• State Kepler’s First Law of Planetary Motion.
• Calculate the orbital speed of the Solar System.

Lesson Plan 28. Retrograde Motion of Planets and the Geocentric Model (with Science Literacy Activity #28 - The Geocentric Model)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain how observations of the night sky suggest that the stars revolve around the Earth.
• Describe the model of the overall structure of the Universe proposed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
• Explain how the observed motion of planets disagreed with Aristotle’s Geocentric model of the Universe.
• Explain how Ptolemy modified Aristotle’s Geocentric model of the Universe.

Lesson Plan 29. The Copernican Revolution and the Heliocentric Model (with Science Literacy Activity #29 - The Heliocentric Model)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe the Heliocentric model proposed by the Greek astronomer Aristarchus.
• Explain what stellar parallax is.
• Explain why many ancient Greek astronomers and scholars thought that the Earth did not move in space.
• Describe how astronomers use the diameter of the Earth’s orbit in their applications of the stellar parallax method.
• Explain why the ancient Greeks rejected the early Heliocentric model.
• Describe the Copernican model of the Solar System and its flaws.
• Calculate the distance to a star when the star’s parallax is known.
• Explain the retrograde motion of Mars.

Lesson Plan 30. Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion (with Science Literacy Activity #30 - Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain how Tycho Brahe’s observations of a supernova questioned the belief in the perfection of the sky.
• Explain why Brahe opposed the Heliocentric model of the Solar System.
• Explain how Brahe modified the Geocentric model.
• Explain how Kepler’s First Law of Planetary Motion differs from the Copernican model of the Solar System.
• Explain how Kepler’s Second Law (the law of areas) requires the changes in the orbital speed of a planet.
• Use empirical data in order to verify Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion.

Lesson Plan 31. Galileo’s Telescopic Observations and the Heliocentric Model (with Science Literacy Activity #31 - Galileo and the Heliocentric Model)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain why Galileo is widely recognized as the founder of experimental science.
• Describe how Galileo explained the nature of sunspots on the Sun.
• Describe how Galileo explained his observations of the motion of Jupiter’s moons.
• Describe how Galileo explained the phases of Venus.
• Compare the surface features of the Moon to the surface features of the Earth.
• Describe Galileo’s scientific discoveries of great importance to the science.

Lesson Plan 32. The Universal Law of Gravity, Orbital Motion, Tidal Forces (with Science Literacy Activity #32 - The Universal Law of Gravity, Orbital Motion, Tidal Forces)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain why the Law of Gravity is considered universal.
• Describe the Universal Law of Gravity.
• Explain how Newton’s Third Law of Motion describes the gravitational interaction between objects.
• Explain how Newton’s Third Law of Motion describes the gravitational interaction between the Earth and any other object.
• Explain how the Moon’s gravity forms tidal bulges on the Earth.
• Explain how the Sun’s gravity causes tides on the Earth.

Lesson Plan 33. Gravity and the Orbital Motion of Planets, Moons and Satellites (with Science Literacy Activity #33 - Gravity and the Orbital Motion of Planets, Moons and Satellites)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe Newton’s imaginary experiment that involves shooting a cannon ball.
• Describe how Newton explained the orbital motion of the Moon around the Earth.
• Describe how Newton explained the orbital motion of the planets around the Sun.
• Explain how artificial satellites stay in their orbits.
• Explain why astronauts do not feel their weight in space.
• Explain how a satellite can stay in a geostationary equatorial orbit and above one point on the Earth’s equator at all times.
• Describe how air resistance affects artificial satellites.
• Calculate the orbital speed of a satellite.

Lesson Plan 34. Newton’s Modified Version of Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion (with Science Literacy Activity #34 - Newton’s Modified Version of Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain how astronomers use Newton’s Modified Version of Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion to study the Sun and planets.
• Use data about the orbital period of the Moon in order to determine the mass of the Earth.
• Calculate the Moon’s orbital speed and the size of the Moon's orbit.
• Calculate the size of the orbit of a geostationary satellite.

Lesson Plan 35. The Center of Mass, Orbital Motion and Discovery of Extrasolar Planets (with Science Literacy Activity #35 - The Center of Mass, Orbital Motion and Discovery of Extrasolar Planets)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain why the motion of the Sun in response to the planets’ force of gravity is very small.
• Explain why the Sun’s orbital motion is mostly around the common center of mass of the Sun and Jupiter.
• Explain why direct observations of extrasolar planets are extremely difficult to make.
• Describe the radial velocity method.
• Explain how the radial velocity method depends on the mass of a planet.

Lesson Plan 36. Gravity, General Relativity and the Orbit of Mercury (with Science Literacy Activity #36 - Gravity, General Relativity and the Orbit of Mercury)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe the precession of a planet’s orbit.
• Provide a conceptual description of how general relativity interprets gravity.
• Explain how the effects of general relativity affect GPS technology.

Lesson Plan 37. Stability of Planetary Orbits (with Science Literacy Activity #37 - What Happens When Planets Refuse to Go in Circles)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe how the gravitational interaction between the planets of the Solar System can affect their orbits.
• Summarize the basic ideas of the theory of planetary migration.

Lesson Plan 38. Stability of Planetary Orbits and Extrasolar Planets (with Science Literacy Activity #38 - Stability of Planetary Orbits and Extrasolar Planets)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Describe the faith of the hypothetical fifth giant planet of the Solar System.
• Explain what rogue planets are.
• Describe the origin of the rogue planets.
• Explain how astronomers find the rogue planets.
• Describe how a rogue planet can affect the orbits of the planets in the Solar System.

Lesson Plan 39. Space Rockets and Rocket Propulsion (with Science Literacy Activity #39 - Space Rockets and Rocket Propulsion)
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain what the escape speed of an object is.
• Explain why the spacecraft has to move fast in order to fly to the other stars.
• Explain how the escape speed of an object depends on the mass and size of a planet or a moon that the object is trying to leave.
• Explain how rockets travel in space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
• Calculate the escape speed at the surface of the Earth.

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