The Sun Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students understand more about the Sun. Students will watch a couple of video lessons, participate in group activities, and prove their knowledge with a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the layers of the Sun
  • summarize the stages of the Sun's life cycle
  • define and use content-specific vocabulary

Length

This lesson will take 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

NGSS.HS-ESS1-1

Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun's core to release energy in the form of radiation.

NGSS. HS-ESS1-3

Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

Materials Needed

  • Clay
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic knives

Vocabulary

  • chromosphere
  • convective zone
  • core
  • corona
  • greenhouse effect
  • main-sequence star
  • nebula
  • nuclear fusion
  • photosphere
  • radiative zone
  • red giant
  • white dwarf

Instructions & Activity

What is the Sun?

  • Draw the Sun on the board. Ask students to list the things they know about the sun. Write students' answers on the board.
  • Watch the video lesson What is the Sun? - Facts, Layers & Temperatures as a class and have students take notes.
  • Divide students into small groups. Have each group create a model of the sun using different colors of clay to represent each layer. Have students cut their sun in half to expose the layers.
  • Each group will use toothpicks to label the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona.
  • For each of these layers, students will create a key that describes its characteristics. Students will also list 5 facts about the Sun. Each group will present their information to the class.

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