each planet and making the students of the outlining planets stand further and further away from the “sun.” 4.The remaining students are asked to observe the mock solar system.5.Tell students that they will act as the planets and will orbit the sun, walking at a normal pace. Say, “Begin orbiting now.” 6.Have students orbit for about a minute or two and then ask them to stop. Bring them all in close enough to hear. Ask the observers, “What did you see?” Lead them to the conclusion that the planets closest to the sun orbited faster than the ones further away from the sun. Have students explain why this occurred; the answers will vary.7.State, “ok, now we will have the planets rotate as they orbit. That means that as you walk around the sun, you must also slowly walk around in a circle where you are” Demonstrate spinning in a circle as you walk around the sun. Be prepared that students may become dizzy. 8.Once the students have done this for a minute or so, ask the observers, “Does the distance from the sun affect the rotation of the planets?” The answer is no.9.Give other students the opportunity to role play the planets as they orbit and rotate. Once all students have participated, reiterate the difference between orbit and rotationand return to the room. Total time: 25 min. 10.Pick eight volunteers. Have the students stand at two feet intervals from the front of the room. Tell each student that they represent one of the planets. Label them in order from Mercury to Neptune with Mercury at the front of the line. At the front of the room light a candle. Ask the students to extend their left hands to the flame. Then ask the rest of the class which planet they think will feel the hottest, the coldest, and just simply warm. Ask the student planets to report how much heat their hands feel. As predicted, Mercury will report the hottest temperatures while Neptune will report not feeling any heat at all. Earth and Mars will report similar temperatures. Have studentssit down. 11.Ask, “why is heat or sunlight important to the survival of plants or people?” Refer students back to the lesson on what plants need in order to survive, how people and plants would freeze if we did not have the right amount of heat, and how we also depend on the sun for power-solar power. Total time: 10 min. 12.On the board write the journal topic, “Free write.”13.Inform the students that they may have the remainder of the time to finish up their 3Dvisual representations, start on their journals, or ask questions.
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