TENNESSEE SCIENCE UNIT

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UNIT TITLE

Earth and its Place in the Universe

AUTHOR(S)

Jenny Howe, Jocelyn Romines, Terry Sams

COURSE/

GRADE LEVEL

4th Grade

CONTENT AREA

Earth Science

TOPIC

Earth and its Place in the Universe

TIME FRAME

5 40 to 50-minute Lessons

NUMBER OF LESSONS

5

TARGETED TENNESSEE

STANDARDS/
LEARNING EXPECTATIONS

Objectives are taken from The Tennessee Blueprint for Learning

  • Identify and order the planets in the solar system by their distance from the sun.
  • Determine the order of the planets according to their distance from the sun (4.7.1).
  • Recognize that the length and position of a shadow are related to the location of the sun (4.7.3).
  • Demonstrate how the earth rotates and revolves.
  • Simulate the changing shape of the moon.
  • Identify the phases of the moon in the correct sequence (4.7.2).
  • Select appropriate standard units to measure length, perimeter, area, capacity, volume, weight, time, temperature, and angles (4.4.9).
  • Measure length to the nearest 1/4 inch or nearest centimeter (4.4.4).

 

SUMMARY OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

The students should be able to put planets in order according to their distance from the sun.

The students should be able to name and order the phases of the moon as well as explain why the shape of the moon that is seen from the earth changes.

The students should be able to measure the length of shadows using centimeters and/or millimeters


 
OVERVIEW OF STUDENT LEARNING ACTIVITIES

  LESSON  1

This lesson will use a United Streaming video to present information about the planet and their distance form the sun.  After the video a power point will be used to reinforce what they have seen.  Next students will be divided into pairs or teams and they will take a more in depth look at a particular planet.  The small groups will then briefly present interesting information about the plant they researched.  Finally students will work in these teams to put planet picture cards in order according to their distance from the sun.

Th Nine (Eight) Planets

 LESSON 2

In this lesson students will be able to illustrate, describe, and name the phases of the moon.  Students will also be able to tell why sometimes we cannot see the moon in the night sky and why the moon appears to change shape.   Students will be able to tell what creates the light of the moon.

Phases of the Moon

  LESSON 3

In this lesson students will explore shadows by viewing their shadows and various times of the day, making shadows of various objects with flashlights, and creating a sun dial to observe how a sun created shadow will change throughout the day.

What creates our shadow?

  LESSON 4

Students will be able to tell when their shadows will be the longest or the shortest.  They will be able to relate the movement of the sun to the changes in their shadows throughout the day.  Students will be able to measure the length of shadows using centimeters and/or millimeters.  If possible students can measure to the nearest 1/4 of an inch and then compare fractions.

Exploring Shadows with a Sundial

 LESSON 5

Students will learn how we get our seasons by viewing United Streaming videos.  They will learn the differences between revolution and rotation and how they affect our seasons and weather.  Students will view web sites that demonstrate the rotation and revolution of the earth and how we get seasons.  They will take a quiz from the Internet.   Students will visit sites that demonstrate rotation, revolution, and the orbit of planets and moons in our solar system. This includes information about day/night cycles, rotational periods, constellations, moon phases, and telling time.

Getting the Seasons

(How does the Earth rotate and revolve?)