After the video, review the key facts about the sun and write them on the board. Ensure students have the information recorded in their notebooks.
The sun is a star, a burning ball of hydrogen and helium.
It is the central point of the solar system.
The sun makes up 99% of the entire solar system’s mass.
The sun provides Earth with all of its energy. Without the sun, there would be no life on the planet.
Ask the class to suggest ways that the energy from the sun can be observed. Can it be seen? Can it be felt? And, as all good scientists ask, can it be measured? Encourage the students to share their responses.
Introduce the statement to be investigated: The sun provides all energy on Earth.
Explain to the students that they will be working in small groups to perform an activity where they will be able to observe energy provided by the sun.
Distribute the Energy of the Sun Worksheet. Read through the activity step-by-step and answer any questions the students may have about the task. Afterwards, assist the students in collecting and preparing the required equipment.
Monitor and support the students as they work through the activity. Encourage them to record their observations and results on the worksheet and to complete the reflection questions.
As a whole class, review the activity and the worksheet questions. Encourage students to share their answers and discuss any discrepancies in responses. For Question 5, field suggestions from the class and then watch the video The Sun’s Energy on Earth which demonstrates how the previous activity can be used to calculate the amount of energy the sun produces.
Refer back the statement being investigated: The sun provides all energy on Earth. Discuss how observations from the activity support or refute the statement.
Add the words sun, star, hydrogen, helium, and energy to the Solar System Word Wall.
More capable students could design an experiment that explores other examples of energy from the sun, or Earth's dependence on it e.g. measure light levels in and out of the sun, look at the growth of plants in varied exposures to sunlight.
Less confident students could work in small groups with more capable peers and adult assistance.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities