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Is the Sun a Star?

Some students were talking about the Sun. They had several different ideas. Here is what they said: Sam: Our sun is a ball of gas, but it is too close to be a star. Maggie: Our sun is a ball of gas making it a star. In fact, it is the biggest star in our solar system. Jasmine: Our sun is a sun. It is not a star. Suns are different from stars. Juan: Our sun is a ball of gas making it a star, but it is not the biggest sta r in our solar system. Which student do you agree with the most?____________. Explain why you agree?

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Wednesday February 26, 2014 Introduce EQ: What properties can we give the sun? (Explain that last week we named properties based on what we observed and further researched, but now we want to see if we can identify any more properties about the sun.) Engage: Tell students you want to start by exploring more about one of their observations on the OWL chart- The sun is a star. Introduce probe- I overheard some students talking and I typed up what they were saying about the sun and it being a star. Can you read what they said and then choose what student you would mostly agree with? Transition students to do a commit and toss. Once students have thrown and chosen a new paper, have them read silently what the paper says and then have them read aloud the results. I will record the results on a data chart. Look at the results as a class. What conclusion can we make about our results? (Expected response to be that students agree with Maggie, because she defines the sun as a star and says it is the biggest.) Ask for anyone to share the students response from their commit and toss or ask for ideas from others if they agree with the student. Present to the class that another group of third graders agreed with Juan, saying that the sun was a star, but wasnt the biggest star. We have two ideas here that seem to stand out. How can we collect evidence to support either Maggies or Juans claim about the sun? Explore: Create a new essential question based on data: EQ: Is the sun the biggest star? Students write the new essential question in their notebooks. How can we answer our essential question? Ask for suggestions from students. What would a scientist do? Present to students that they will do a book flood. Their only goal here is to find out if the sun is the biggest star. Expectations are for students to search through resources and if one finds it, have them share the fact and the source that they got it from immediately. Ask student to read from their source so the rest of the class can hear the information. Explain: Shortly discuss: So we have talked about how the sun gives off heat, and light, and that it is a ball of gas making it star, but what did we learn from _______ finding this evidence?

Quickly have students come back together and do the probe once again. If students find the information in the What is the biggest star in our universe? article show the video and talk about it Exit slip (Evaluate): Students will answer the essential question using evidence to support their claim. If Mr. Johnson walked in here and said the sun is the biggest star, what would you say to him and why?- Write it on a post-it note and add it to our Learn part of our OWL.

EQ: Is the ________________ the ________________ star?

EQ: Is the ________________ the ________________ star?

EQ: Why does the ______________ appear _______________ and _________________ than other stars if it is _________ the _____________ star?

EQ: Why does the ______________ appear _______________ and _________________ than other stars if it is _________ the _____________ star?

Friday February 28, 2014 (Total Time: 40 min.) SC.3.E.5.3 Recognize that the sun appears to be the biggest star because it is the closest star to Earth. EQ: Why does the sun appear bigger and brighter than other stars if it is not the biggest star? (3 min) Engage: Now that we know that although the sun is a star, it is not the biggest star, I want to explore more of why many of us begin to think that. Many people thought it was the biggest star because it is so hot and so bright. We cant feel the heat of other stars and they dont light Earth like the sun does, but we now know that many stars in our galaxy are larger than the sun. Introduce EQ: Why does the sun appear bigger and brighter than other stars in the sky? (20 min.) Explore: Students make observations of pictures of the sun and other stars in the sky. If these are all stars, why is the sun so much bigger? I want to do an investigation with you. We are going to observe different stages of the sun. Can you make a chart with five sections in your science notebook? Then I want you to meet me outside on the kickball field. (to prepare for this, we need to cut out two suns that are exactly the same size.) Two of us will start different distances apart and the kids will draw a picture of what they observe about our suns. (One should look bigger and closer than the other) They will write their observations. We will continue to do this in five stages. (Once meeting in the middle and then twice switching positions so that I am in back and you are in front) (10 min) Explain: We come back to the classroom and ask the kids: Whose sun was bigger? Referring to their observations, the kids will have a short discussion with their neighbor and with the class as a whole. We will then show the kids that the suns that we used were actually both the same size! Then we will refer back to our essential question: Why does the sun appear larger and brighter than other stars in the sky?

Guiding questions: What made my sun look larger? What made his sun look larger? What conclusion can we come to? (AR: The sun is the nearest star to our planet, which is why it looks so big compared to other stars) (5 min) Closure: Students fill out a sticky for our L chart about what they learned that day about the sun relating it back to our essential question.