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Lesson Plan

The Sun

Summary: 
Model the seasons as the earth orbits the sun, then try activities that model some phenomena of the sun.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Earth/Space: Sun, Moon, Solar System, Universe (1, 4, 6)
Procedure: 

Introduce the sun with a movie of the rotating sun:
http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/gallery/movies/FringePlay304.mp4ß

Continue with sun facts:
The sun rotates every 26 days.
It is very hot: 15 million°C in the centre, 5,500°C on the surface.
It is huge: 1.4million km wide. One million earths would fit in it.
The sun is a ball of gas, split into charged particles (plasma) by intense heat and pressure.
In it’s core, hydrogen nuclei fuse together to make helium nuclei, generating huge amounts of energy - so much that we can feel it from 150 million km (93 million miles) away.
The sun is 4.6 billion years old and has enough hydrogen to last for another 5 billion years. Every second, the sun’s core converts 4 million tons of matter into pure energy.

Model the seasons.

Students rotate through stations exploring different phenomena that are all present in the sun:

Plasma ball to show an example of plasma, which the sun is made up of.
Convection currents, to show how heat reaches the surface of the sun, and the patterns it makes.
Magnetic field lines, to show how they are formed by magnets. Then show the complex shapes of the moving magnetic fields of the sun.
Sounds of the sun, as an analogy for how scientists listen to the sun to learn about its interior structure.

If the sun is out, look at sunspots.

Notes: 

Lesson 2/7 at Strathcona.
Sun was not out, so no Sun Spot observation at Strathcona Elementary.

Grades taught: 
Gr 6
Gr 7
Teacher: 
Phyllis Daly
Reid McInnes
Site tested: 
Strathcona Elementary
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Strathcona Elementary