This Earth and Space Sciences unit explores the concept that Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun).
It consists of 8 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration.
The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.
An assessment task for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.
Teachers are encouraged to collect samples of students’ work throughout the unit to add to a learning portfolio. These can also be used to assess students’ understanding of the unit objectives.
This unit plan includes the following resources:
- Tornado in a Jar Worksheet
- Solar System Word Wall Vocabulary
- Energy of the Sun Worksheet
- Formation of Earth – Reading Comprehension Worksheet
- How Earth Was Formed – Worksheet
- Two Stars and a Wish Poster and Feedback Slips
- Planets of the Solar System Factbook – Worksheet
- Planets of the Solar System Posters
- Number and Algebra Mathematics Investigation – The Solar System in Our Space
- What About Me? Other Regions and Objects of the Solar System
- To explore the circumstances and processes that led the formation of the solar system.
- To explore the role of the sun as a provider of energy for the Earth.
- To develop an understanding of the processes that formed Earth and then create a presentation that explains them.
- To identify the terrestrial planets of the solar system and compare how long they take to orbit the sun.
- To identify the Jovian planets of the solar system and compare how long they take to orbit the sun.
- To investigate the relative size of and distance between Earth, other planets in the solar system and the sun.
- To identify other celestial bodies present in the solar system.
- To research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ understanding of the night sky and its use for timekeeping purposes.
Preparing for Learning
This Science unit provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for ways to meaningfully integrate the content of the unit with other learning areas e.g. Literacy and Numeracy.
Prior to commencing the unit, develop a classroom display which focuses on electricity. Display posters, word wall vocabulary and learning goals that the students will engage with throughout the unit to stimulate their learning. For examples of additional teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Space and Solar System collection on the Teach Starter website.
The lessons and science experiments within this unit are structured in accordance with the scientific method. Ensure that the students are familiar with this process before commencing the unit. A comprehensive lesson plan addressing the concepts of fair testing in Science can be downloaded here.
Some of the resources which accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.
NSW Curriculum alignment
Plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions
Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth's surface
Explains how digital systems represent data, connect together to form networks and transmit data
Victorian Curriculum alignment
Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people's lives
Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to record, represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data
Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun)
Suggest improvements to the methods used to investigate a question or solve a problem
Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships
Australian Curriculum alignment
The Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun)
Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and reflects historical and cultural contributions
Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions
Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts
Reflect on and suggest improvements to scientific investigations
Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate