Lesson Title: Day and Night Target Age: 5-6 year olds
Author:Susan Reynolds Button E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Quarks to Clusters, 8793 Horseshoe Lane, Chittenango, NY 13037 USA
Phone: 1- 315 – 687- 5371
Concepts: (Substitute Southern Cross for Southern Hemisphere.)
- There are differences between the daytime sky and the nighttime sky.
- The sun is a star.
- The sun is too bright during the daytime to see other stars but other stars are still in the sky.
- The North Star is always found in the Northern part of the sky.
- You can imagine patterns, made with the stars, in the sky.
- The Little Dipper and the Big Dipper can be found in the sky in the North.
Objectives/ Evaluation Tool:
- Students will be able to explain what they saw that was different about the daytime and nighttime skies and what was the same.
- Students will be able to say that the sun is the closest star and because it is so bright it blocks out the other stars in the daytime.
- Students will be able to describe the daytime apparent motion of the sun (and the moon) by moving their arms in an arc for rising and setting.
- Students will be able to state that the North Star is found in the North and it looked like it never moved.
- Students will be able to name some patterns in the sky that can be made out of the stars.
Planetarium, Rise, Set, North Star, North, South, East, West, Sun, Moon, Stars
Planetarium; Signs (to mark the cardinal directions and signs to mark where the sun and moon rise and set on the horizon)
Introduce yourself and the planetarium: exterior-you can walk around it with them and have them gently touch it to feel the air inside. Interior- tell them where they will go in and what they will see (for instance, it will have lights inside so you can see where you are going).
Go over the rules. Examples: Your job is to Look, listen and learn…notice everything! Sit on the rug, with your legs crossed, not on the plastic of the dome. We will sit in a circle around the machine that will make the stars for us. I will go in first and your teacher last to make sure everyone gets in all right.
Inside: After everyone is settled in the circle, tell the students to, “Look all around and raise your hand if you would like to tell me what you notice.” Go over a few things…the door, the fan tunnel, shadows, the horizon and the zenith. (If you have an auxiliary light for the doorway, ask at this time if it is ok to turn off the auxiliary light. Pick someone to be the “Keeper of the light”…their job is to turn the light off now and on later at the end of the class.) Show the students your special flashlight(s). I show them my laser shining at the zenith, and state that it is the signal for whenever I need quiet, and then I show them a “safe for children” pointer light. I explain that some people will get to use it to point things out during the lesson.
Introduce the projector. (The projector is set for 3AM.) Say, “I woke up before the alarm went off this morning because I was very thirsty. So I got up to get a drink of water at 3 o’clock in the morning! I looked out my window, because I love looking at the sky, and saw the beautiful stars (and the moon if it is there). I would like to show you what I saw. You have my permission to talk softly for one minute about what you notice. Remember, when you see my laser light shine at the zenith that means, “Get quiet now please.” Show them some nighttime with “light pollution”…not completely dark. Never make it completely dark without asking for students’ permission.
Have volunteers point to some things that they noticed (stars, moon, etc.) with the pointer. Talk briefly about each object.
Show them the Big Dipper and how to find the North Star. Count the number of stars in the Dipper(s).
Explain that you went back to bed and as you were sleeping the world turned. Have the students pick something to watch as the world turns. Engage diurnal motion and stop at sunrise. Have the students tell you what they noticed.
Ask students what they do at home when the sun just comes up in the morning. Tell them we call that time “sunrise.” Mark the horizon where the sun is rising.
Let the sun go to the Noon position while one student tracks it with a pointer. While this is happening explain information about the sun: it is a star; it is the closest star and so looks bigger and brighter. Discuss what happened to all the other stars when the sun came up. (Discuss and track the moon too if it is in the sky. Mark where the moon rises or sets, if it does.)
Talk about what Noon means (and what activities occur at Noon) and let the sun go to 2PM and discuss what happened to the sun’s path after Noon. (It is not rising anymore it is setting or is going down.)
Have students make and mark predictions for where the sun will touch the horizon, “sunset.”
Discuss what happens at home when the sun sets. (Eat dinner, go to bed)
Tour the sky again to find the Big Dipper and the North Star. (Surprise the Big Dipper is in a different place but it still points to the North Star, which is still in the North!) Tell a story.
Outline the constellations in your story (i.e. Big Bear, Little Bear. If you have a Starlab you can put the Greco/Roman cylinder on the projector and discuss where the bears are.
Conclusion: have students pick one picture or one star etc. and track it through the night until morning. It can be pointed out that everything appears to move but the North Star.
As the sun rises, have students stand up (rise). Turn off the projector and ask students to review what they learned.
Have students move their arms to show the path of the sun/moon/stars rising and setting. Say it and do it…”The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.” Restate that the North Star stayed in one place.
Thank them for coming; ask if they had a good time; explain how to exit in an orderly way. (Students walk slowly around and follow their teacher out the door.)
TIPS for Success:
- It is good to have an Auxiliary light in the doorway so that young children do not become afraid to enter the planetarium.
- Techniques of distracting to positive behavior, praising good behavior and enthusiasm work well to keep Primary level students under control. Some possible statements to use: “I like the way that boy/girl is sitting.” “I am looking for someone who is listening and noticing everything to use my pointer.”
- At the beginning of the lesson, if the students are too noisy and excited, to get students on track you can say and do the following: “Hands on your head, Hands on your shoulders, Hands on your hips, hands on your lips…no talking, look all around and notice everything.”
- Then quickly point to a student and say,” Can you tell me what you notice?” or you can say to the class, “Raise one hand if you would like to tell me what you noticed and I will pick someone.” Encourage students to state the obvious.
- Timing is everything, take advantage of “pregnant pauses” to jump in with the next part of the lesson.
Day and Night Lesson Talking Points (Outline)
- Discuss what is inside the dome.
- Introduce projector and then night sky
- Have students point out some sky objects.
- Point out the Big Dipper and how to find the North Star.
- Count the number of stars in the Dipper(s).
- Engage diurnal motion and stop at sunrise.
- Have the students tell you what they noticed.
- Mark the horizon where the sun is rising.
- Let the sun go to the Noon position while one student tracks it with a pointer.
- Talk about what Noon means.
- Let the sun go to 2PM and discuss what happened to the sun’s path after Noon.
- Have students make and mark predictions for where the sun will touch the horizon, “sunset.”
- Tour the sky again to find the Big Dipper and the North Star.
- Tell a story.
- Put the Greco/Roman cylinder on the projector and discuss where the bears are.
- Have students pick one picture or one star etc. and track it through the night until morning.
- As the sun rises, have students stand up (rise).
- Turn off the projector and ask students to review what they learned.
Bear Story: Callisto, Hera, Arcas, Zeus
How Some Bears Got Into the Sky!
(The Greek Story of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor”)
As retold by – Susan Reynolds Button
OCM BOCES Starlab Planetarium
Once upon a time there was a beautiful lady named Callisto. She was also a very kind and helpful lady. If anyone had a problem she would ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?” Then she would help them if she could. And she was very generous. Sometimes she would bake cookies just for fun and share them with her friends and neighbors!
Everyone loved Callisto, except a wicked Queen named Hera. This queen was jealous of Callisto’s beauty and kindness. One day Callisto was walking along and all of a sudden Hera jumped in front of her and cast a magic spell on her! “Abracadabra”, she shouted and changed poor Callisto into a BEAR!
After that Callisto had to go and live in the woods because that’s where bears live and find their food. But her little boy Arcas could not go with her for he was not a bear! So he had to be raised by his father and his grandmother.
On the day that Arcas turned 10 years old, his father came to him and said, “Arcas, it is time you learned to be a good hunter like me!” And he gave Arcas a present that he had made with his own two hands. It was a bow, a bunch of arrows and a quiver to put on his back (you know, so he could carry his arrows in it).
Arcas practiced and practiced shooting arrows at a target and one-day his dad said he was ready to go hunting. They went to a meadow nearby and, sure enough, they brought home two rabbits for dinner. Grandmother made delicious rabbit stew!
On another day Arcas went hunting by himself but all the rabbits ran into the forest before he could get them. So Arcas chased them into the woods. But, to his surprise a BIG BEAR came out from behind a bush and stood on her hind legs with her paws out in front of her and said, “GRRRRRRRR!!” Arcas was so scared, he notched his arrow in his bow and he was going to SHOOT THAT BEAR!
Meanwhile, wicked Queen Hera’s husband, King Zeus, was watching what was happening. He said to himself, “OH NO, that boy is going to shoot his very own MOTHER!” So he quickly cast a magic spell on Arcas and turned him into a small bear! When Arcas saw that that other bear was his Mom he ran right over and gave her a great big BEAR HUG!
King Zeus thought that this was very cute but he was afraid that these bears would be shot by a hunter one day if he left them in the forest so……he grabbed Mama bear by her tail and grabbed small bear by his tail! Then he lifted them over his head, swung them around three times and shot those bears up into the sky! (One, two, three!) They turned into STAR BEARS and I can see them there on each clear night!
If you look in the night sky, toward the North, maybe you can connect the stars and imagine those bears too!