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Classroom Planetarium Lesson Plan

Classroom Planetarium Lesson Plan - TITLE OF LESSON PLAN...

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TITLE OF LESSON PLAN: Classroom Planetarium LENGTH OF LESSON: Two class periods GRADE LEVEL: 5-6 SUBJECT AREA: Astronomy/Space CREDIT: Jesse Kraft, an elementary school teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. OBJECTIVES: Students will: 1. Understand the relationship of the nine planets in our solar system to the sun by creating a three-dimensional representation. 2. Understand the planets' relative distance from the sun and their approximate size in relation to the Earth. MATERIALS: For this lesson, you will need: round balloons, different sizes tempera paint and paint brushes fishing line (or strong string) construction paper newspaper torn into strips about one inch wide
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space paste (see instructions below) S-clips to suspend models from ceiling tile frames (large paper clips bent into L shapes or strong loops of tape will work as substitutes) PROCEDURE: 1. Before you begin the activity, you will need to create a batch of “space paste.” You can do this by mixing papier-mâché mix (or flour) and water to make a thick paste. Use about one part mix (or flour) to three-quarter part water. 2. When the paste is ready, divide your students into nine groups. Assign each group a planet. Provide each student with a copy of the Planet Information Sheet. Ask your students to fill in the chart using information they gather from library books, the Internet, or the TLC Elementary School documentary Astronomy. 3. While they are working, turn a class bulletin board into a huge sun using construction paper. Invite any students who finish their research early to add solar flare designs to the sun. 4. Give each group a balloon. Explain to your students that all of the balloons should not be blown up to the same size. Stress that approximate size is all that is necessary, but that the big planets should be noticeably larger than the smaller ones—especially Pluto. 5. Provide each group with a long piece of fishing line. Ask them to tie the line around the end of their balloon. 6. Provide each group with a supply of space paste and newspaper strips. Instruct them to dip each strip into the paste, gently pull it through their fingers to wipe off extra clumps, and then paste it onto balloon. They should use many layers, working until the balloon is covered completely. Encourage them to apply extra layers to make their balloons seem as round as possible. (The planets aren't perfect spheres, so they don't need to worry too much about roundness.) 7. Allow the balloons to dry. While they are drying, students should decide how they are going to
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Classroom Planetarium Lesson Plan - TITLE OF LESSON PLAN...

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