About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the History of Astronomy chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||The field of astronomy|
Astronomy in ancient times
How the ancients told time
|Description of the study of astronomy, cosmology, types of astronomy, including planetary and theoretical astronomy|
Astronomical study in ancient societies, including in Babylon and in the Mayan culture
Ways to keep track of days or time of day, horizon calendar, sundial
The Zodiac constellations
| Difference between astrology and astronomy, pseudoscience, Nostradamus|
Signs of the Zodiac and their positions in the sky, horoscopes
How the constellations got their names, modern constellation, asterism
|Wednesday||The lunar calendar|
The week and astronomical objects
Julian and Gregorian calendars
|The Metonic cycle, intercalation, lunation|
How the days of the week got their names
Why, how and when the Julian and Gregorian calendars were devised
|Thursday||Models of the universe|
The Copernican Revolution
Tycho Brahe's work
|Geocentric and heliocentric models of the solar system, Ptolemy, first principle, uniform circular motion|
Nicolaus Copernicus's proposal of a heliocentric solar system
Tycho Brahe's geo-heliocentric model of the universe, parallax
|Friday||Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion|
Galileo, the church and the telescope
Isaac Newton's work with astronomy
|Kepler's three laws and their effect on the orbits of planets, asteroids and comets, calculations of the orbital radius from the orbital period|
The falling bodies experiment, improvements on the telescope, conflict with the church
Newton's biography, Newton's laws of motion, law of universal gravitation, mass
1. The Scientific Field of Astronomy
Space is a large and exciting place, full of things we have yet to discover. Astronomy aims to uncover the mysteries of space, something people have been fascinated with as long as they have been on Earth.
2. The Ancient Study of Astronomy
This lesson will teach you about three important cultures and civilizations that contributed much to our understanding of astronomy. They include the Babylonians, Maya, and Greeks.
3. The Constellations: Definition & Name Origins
This lesson will teach you about ancient constellations and how they came to be. We'll define modern constellations and learn why they're important. You'll also learn about the differences between a constellation and an asterism.
4. What is Astrology?
This lesson will teach you about astrology, tell you if it's the same thing as astronomy, why or why not, and discuss the reasons astrology is so good at predicting so many different things. I predict that you might enjoy this lesson.
5. The Zodiac Constellations & Their Visibility in the Sky
The zodiac is a concept that spans thousands of years. You'll learn how the zodiac and the ecliptic are related, as well as the origin of the horoscope, in this lesson.
6. Telling Time in Ancient Times
This lesson will explore the concepts of time and telling time in ancient history, including the lunar phase cycle, the calendar, the sundial, and how ancient people viewed time compared to us.
7. The Lunar Calendar & Metonic Cycle
This lesson will discuss the lunar calendar, luni-solar calendar, the Metonic cycle, and how they relate to keeping time in the ancient world and even some calendars today.
8. The Connection Between the Seven Days of the Week & Astronomical Objects
This lesson will explain to you why the English language has its current names for its days of the week and what Roman gods and Anglo-Saxons have to do with it.
9. Geocentric, Heliocentric & Ptolemaic Models of the Universe
This lesson will lay out for you how ancient Greek philosophers came up with their models of the universe,. We'll also look at who Ptolemy was and what he contributed, and whether or not the Greeks were correct.
10. The Copernican Revolution
This lesson will discuss a famous astronomer by the name of Nicolaus Copernicus, his early history, his revolutionary idea, and why his model of the universe was actually wrong.
11. Tycho Brahe's Contribution to Astronomy
There was a man who did not believe Ptolemy's version of the universe nor did he believe in Copernicus's views on the universe. Who was this daring man? He was Tycho Brahe. We'll learn about him in this lesson.
12. Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary Motion
Find out about the interesting life and major contributions of Johannes Kepler. This lesson will also teach you how to find out how long it takes a planet to revolve around the sun!
13. Galileo, the Telescope & the Church
This lesson explores the contributions of Galileo to modern science. It examines his early steps toward a scientific method, his work on falling bodies and, of course, his astronomical discoveries. Finally, the Church's reaction to these discoveries is explored.
14. Sir Isaac Newton And Astronomy
This lesson will teach you about Newton's laws of motion and universal gravitation as well as why the moon doesn't fly off into space and why it doesn't crash into the Earth.
15. Origins of the Julian & Gregorian Calendars
The Julian calendar and Gregorian calendar were both revolutionary in their own right. Find out who's responsible for putting them into place and which one of the two we use today and why.
16. What is Science? - Definition, Topics & Branches
In this lesson, we'll investigate what science really is. We'll cover the different branches of science and provide examples of topics in each branch. Afterward, you should have a good overview of the different types of science we study.
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Other chapters within the Astronomy 101 Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
- How Scientists Think & Work Lesson Plans
- Matter in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Light in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Newton's Laws in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Momentum & Energy Lesson Plans
- Rotational Motion & Momentum Lesson Plans
- Earth's Spheres Lesson Plans
- Climate Influences Lesson Plans
- Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion Lesson Plans
- The Earth, Sky & Moon Lesson Plans
- The Formation & Phases of the Moon Lesson Plans
- Earth & Planet Atmospheres Lesson Plans
- The Sun & Energy Lesson Plans
- The Solar System Formation Lesson Plans
- The Solar System Characteristics Lesson Plans
- The Solar System's Smaller Objects & Satellites Lesson Plans
- Star Qualities Lesson Plans
- Star Types Lesson Plans
- The Birth & Life of Stars Lesson Plans
- Star Death & Stellar Remnants Lesson Plans
- The Milky Way Galaxy Lesson Plans
- Properties of Galaxies Lesson Plans
- Universe Theories Lesson Plans
- Life in the Universe Lesson Plans
- Celestial Time & Navigation Lesson Plans
- Relativity in Time & Space Lesson Plans
- Telescopes Lesson Plans