Students will brain storm ideas on what makes stars appear brighter, then test those ideas using flashlights.
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Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

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The Why Behind Teaching This

Unit 6 teaches students about Earth"s Place in the Universe. Standard 5-ESS1-1: Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distance from Earth, is one standard covered. Standard 5-ESS1-2: Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky, is the other standard covered.

Throughout this unit, students will learn about classifying stars, patterns of stars, and the effects of rotation and revolution. We will be creating models, graphing data, tracing our shadows, and much more.

This specific lesson covers standard 5-ESS1-1 because it provides students with information about characteristics that affect the brightness of stars. Distance from Earth is one major factor that determines brightness but other factors such as size, temperature, age, etc. also affect the brightness. In this lesson students will relate stars to flashlights to help them think about each of these characteristics. They will then relate their ideas to information about real stars.

Lesson Goal:

The goal of this lesson is for students to identify various characteristics of stars that could cause one to appear brighter than another.

Success Criteria:

Students will demonstrate success of this goal by correctly comparing two stars on the exit ticket given at the end of the lesson.

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Preparing For The Lesson:

Warm Up:

Computer and overhead for showing the Youtube video

Guided Practice:

Groups need whiteboards and markers for creating a list of things that affect brightness.

Explore:

A small flashlight and a large flashlight to use during the discussionA long area such as a hallway for shining the flashlights at different distances

Wrap Up: