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Grade 1. During 6 lessons spanning 22 class sessions, Sky Watchers provides multiple strategies for teaching earth and space science topics. Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Sky Watchers 3-Use Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #514102A) and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit 3 times to a class of up to 24 students.
Grade 1. During 6 lessons spanning 22 class sessions, Sky Watchers provides multiple strategies for teaching earth and space science topics. Students make direct observations of objects in day and night skies and are introduced to the phases of the moon. They expand on the concepts of rotation and revolution, confront the misconception that seasons result from the distance between Earth and the Sun, analyze shadows, and sequence the order of planets and their distances from the Sun. Finally, students work in cooperative groups, synthesize information, and use models to teach the rest of the class about one of the topics they’ve studied.
Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Sky Watchers 3-Use Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #514102A), teacher and student access to digital materials, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit 3 times to a class of up to 24 students.
Next Generation Science Standards®
The Building Blocks of Science® unit Sky Watchers, 2nd Edition, integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards®.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
This unit offers several ways to assess students, including a pre- and a post-unit assessment opportunity. Teachers can also use class discussions and charts to assess each lesson. Student activity sheets and science notebook entries—including drawings, writings, and dictated statements—can be used to gauge individual understanding of objectives and key vocabulary throughout the unit. The Assessment Observation Sheets supplied with each lesson help teachers document and measure students’ progress and knowledge using informal assessment. A general rubric is provided to help teachers evaluate individual students at any point in the unit. The rubric provides a progression of skills and understanding that covers exploration, vocabulary, concept building, and notebook entries. Finally, a summative assessment gives students the opportunity to demonstrate unit-specific content knowledge by responding to questions in a variety of formats.
Lesson 1: What Can We See in the Sky?
Students begin observing and discussing what they already know about Earth and objects that they see in the sky, including the Sun, the Moon, and the planets. Students then make direct observations of objects in day and night skies, and use those observations to compare and contrast the similarities and differences.
Lesson 2: Rotating Day and Night
Students begin building an understanding of a series of earth science concepts. Using models and participating in active demonstrations, they come to discover that Earth’s rotation on its axis is the cause of day and night. Students focus on making direct observations of predictable patterns, specifically the concept of day and night.
Lesson 3: Revolution and the Seasons
Students demonstrate Earth’s revolution around the Sun using string and Earth models. They expand on the concepts of rotation and revolution in an outdoor session in which they use chalk and active movement to map the solar system and show the movement of the Sun and Earth within it. During this lesson, students confront the misconception that seasons result from the distance between Earth and the Sun. Students use their Earth model and a light source to begin to explore the tilt of Earth on its axis and how this tilt (relative to the Sun) results in seasonal differences. Students discuss how seasons are related to how a location faces the Sun’s rays, which results in light and heat. They learn that the more directly into the Sun’s rays a location is facing, the more light and heat that are available to that area. Conversely, the less directly a location faces the Sun’s rays, the less light and heat that is available.
Lesson 4: Shadows and the Sun
Students analyze shadows to learn more about two important effects the Sun has on Earth: heat and light. They set up an Earth model outdoors in a sunny area and record and analyze a shadow’s position and movement over a period of time. After analyzing the data, students discuss how the Sun’s position appears to change over the course of a day’s time due to the rotation of Earth. Students then set up an experiment to compare temperatures in direct sunlight and in shaded areas. They use thermometers to gather temperature data in order to conclude that the Sun’s rays heat Earth.
Lesson 5: The Moon and Its Patterns
Students are introduced to the phases of the Moon. Through direct observation, students analyze the repeating patterns of the Moon’s phases. This lesson compares and contrasts the full and new moons, and discusses the illumination of the Moon and its connection with the four main moon phases. Students also review the concepts of rotation and revolution as they begin to understand how the Moon moves relative to Earth and the Sun. The class represents the Sun-Earth-Moon system using active student models. A Moon Journal provides an opportunity for families to record direct observations of the Moon together.
Lesson 6: Our Place in Space
This final lesson gives students the opportunity to act as teachers as they review and act out each of the concepts about the Sun-Earth-Moon systems that they have been introduced to during the unit. The lesson concludes with a brainstorming session to show what students know about the Sun, Earth, and Moon, and a visit back to Lesson 1 and what they knew when they began the unit.
|Unit Technology Pack (includes digital access to teacher’s guide and student digital access to student reader)||1||Included|
|Sky Watchers Student Reader||1||Included|
|Bookend, Nonslip Base, Small||2||Included|
|Chalk, Assorted Colors||432||Included|
|Clamp Lamp, with Reflector||1||Included|
|Light Bulb, 43 W Eco, Clear||2||Included|
|K’NEX® Connector, Tan||15||Included|
|K’NEX® Rod, Red, 5-1/8”||12||Included|
|K’NEX® Tire Insert, 2”||12||Included|
|Rubber Band, #64||16||Included|
|Ruler, Plastic, Metric (12”)||16||Included|
|Sphere, Styrene, 7.5 cm (3”)||12||Included|
|Sphere, Styrene, 7/8”||1||Included|
|String, Super Twine, 200-ft Roll||1||Included|
|Thermometer, Fahrenheit, 9”||24||Included|