Earth and Space

Science Year 5 Space Presenters

Prof Brian Cox is in the process of commissioning a new series of Stargazing programmes aimed at young children and he’s hoping you are willing to help him out. He needs three episodes that cover the planets and solar system; night and day; and the lunar month. You will need to come up with a title for each episode and include practical and clear explanations and demonstrations of the science behind each phenomenon. Are you up for the challenge and do you have what it takes to be a Space Presenter?

Session 1 Coming up with the intergalactic goods

Objectives

You need to show Prof Cox that you have what it takes to be a great scientist. Explore his ‘space facts’ and come up with some great enquiry questions and processes.

Science objectives
i) Describe the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the Sun in the solar system.

ii) Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.

iii) Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.

iv) Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Space statements
  • Enquiry circles
  • Believer/doubter guidance
  • Differentiated questions
  • Guidance on how to develop detailed scientific questions
  • Suggested research links
  • Sample episode objectives

Weblinks
Stargazing Live Episode 1 from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Develop scientific enquiry questions that match a series of statements about space.
  • Match possible scientific enquiry approaches to specific scientific enquiry questions.

Activities

  1. Suggest enquiry questions to back up a series of statements about the Earth, Sun and Moon.
  2. Match possible scientific approaches to investigating enquiry questions.

Investigation - planning
Develop enquiry questions.

Vocabulary
Earth, planets, Sun, solar system, Moon, celestial body, sphere/spherical, rotate/rotation, spin, night & day, orbit, opinion/fact, support/refute

Session 2 Planetary scales - Model the solar system

Objectives

Do you have what it takes to create a scale model of the solar system? Prof Cox has sent you through some fruit to substitute for your planets!

Science Objectives
i) Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.

ii) Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.

Working Scientifically

  1. Record data of increasing complexity using tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Use all four operations to solve problems involving measure including scaling.
  • Solve problems involving x and ÷, including scaling by simple fractions and problems involving simple ratios.

Art & Design

  • Develop & improve art & design techniques with creativity & experimentation.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Information text: Write a leaflet or poster giving facts and figures about your favourite planet/s.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Create a scaled solar system model using spherical representations.
  • Research and collate planetary data online and represent it graphically.
  • Use ratios for scale and calculate and measure distances using a scaled system.
  • Select and use an effective medium to create an artistic representation of a chosen planet.

Activities

  1. Use fruit to create a model of the solar system.
  2. Calculate scales and ratios for a model of the solar system.
  3. Research, collate and create graphs for data about the planets.
  4. Paint the planets from known images and the nature of the planets.

Investigation - exploring/analysing secondary sources
Create a scale model of the solar system.

Vocabulary
Earth, planets, Sun, solar system, celestial body, sphere/spherical, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, 'dwarf' planet, orbit, opinion/fact, accuracy, precision, scatter graphs, line graphs, support/refute

Session 3 How the solar system works

Objectives

Can you build your own orrery to demonstrate how the solar system works? It’s time to decide what will make the final cut in your first Stargazing episode.

Science Objectives
i) Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.

ii) Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand the difference between geo and heliocentric solar system and how views have evolved.
  • Reconstruct a model of the solar system in the form of an orrery.
  • Present information and findings in the form of a video programme.

Activities

  1. Know the difference between geo and heliocentric solar system and how views have evolved.
  2. Build an orrery of our solar system.
  3. Create episode one of Stargazing which explains how the solar system works and what is in it.

Investigation - exploring/analysing secondary sources
Create an orrery to explore heliocentricity.

Vocabulary
Earth, planets, Sun, solar system, sphere/spherical, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, orbit, geocentric & heliocentric models, opinion/fact, accuracy, precision, scatter graphs, line graphs, support/refute, orrery

Session 4 Day and night - Changing shadows

Objectives

Can you demonstrate that the Earth spins on its own axis? Prof Cox is keen that you set up an investigation for this one, tracking the sun through shadows.

Science Objectives
i) Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Working Scientifically
Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.

  1. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  2. Record data and results of increasing complexity using tables and bar graphs.
  3. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms.
  4. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Plan a shadow investigation.
  • Observe, measure, record and identify patterns for changing shadows throughout a day.
  • Present scientific evidence in the form of a working ‘shadow clock’ model.

Activities

  1. Carry out shadow investigations that help support the idea that the Earth moves on its axis.
  2. Observe, measure and identify patterns in changing shadows across a day.
  3. Record a working model of a ‘shadow clock’ offering observations and scientific explanation.

Investigation - observing over time
Create a shadow clock to explore day and night.

Vocabulary
Earth, Sun, star, rotate/rotation, spin, axis, night and day, shadow clocks, sundials, astronomical clocks opinion/fact, variables, accuracy, precision, support/refute

Session 5 Sundial designers & time zones detectives

Objectives

Can you be a designer and a detective all in one session? You need to make a working sundial and interview people in different time zones around the world.

Science Objectives
i) use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms.
  3. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Track the Earth’s movement by making and observing a sundial.
  • Explore the Earth’s movement through simulation and time zones.
  • Solve problems using scientific evidence.

Activities

  1. Create a sundial calibrated to key school times.
  2. Explore time zones and relate this to the movement of the Earth.
  3. Use scientific logic and knowledge to solve time problems.

Investigation - exploring/analysing secondary sources
Create a sundial and explore time zones.

Vocabulary
Earth, Sun, rotate/rotation, spin, axis, night and day, shadow clocks, sundials, astronomical clocks opinion/fact, support/refute, time-zone, Greenwich Meantime, gnomon

Session 6 A moon month

Objectives

Can you implement some investigations to show why the moon appears to change shape throughout the month - you could also do some stargazing of your own!

Science Objectives
i) Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.

ii) Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels
  3. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  4. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Journalistic writing: Write your own stargazing column for a local paper based on daily observations.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Moon images
  • Lunar month sheet
  • Moon phases and lunar cycle diagram
  • Lunar and solar eclipses diagram
  • Suggested sources of info for moon and tides

Weblinks
Close up of the moon from https://vimeo.com
Size & gravitational field strength from www.bbc.co.uk
Moon’s orbit round Earth from www.bbc.co.uk
Stargazing: phases of the moon from www.bbc.co.uk
NASA- evolution of the moon from www.youtube.com
Moon phases calendar from www.moonconnection.com
Stargazing guide from http://downloads.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Carry out a simulation to investigate and demonstrate why the moon appears as it does in the sky.
  • Use photos as a scientific source to identify features on the moon.
  • Link lunar phases to the position of the Moon, Earth and Sun in the form of a diagram.

Activities

  1. Carry out a simulation investigation to demonstrate why the moon appears as it does in the sky.
  2. Look at photos of the moon and identify key features.
  3. Match lunar phases to relative positions of the Moon, Sun and Earth.

Investigation - exploring/analysing secondary sources
Investigate moon phases.

Vocabulary
Earth, Moon, celestial body, sphere/spherical, rotate/rotation, spin, orbit, support/refute, eclipse, light, reflection, telescope, satellite, tide, mass, gravity