28 November Science 8 Astronomy–Scale Model of the Solar System

  • Mindful moment: Let’s watch– <https://www.mindfulschools.org/video/release-2/>.
  • Review blogpost below.
  • Questions.
  • Select students discuss grouping.
  • Form groups and begin planning for the scale model project. Also work through the various items in today’s blogpost.
  • Turn in Chemical Reaction summative project one by one. Be prepared to inform parents by email if your project is not ready to submit. Remember the reflection. Here is what was shown in the last blogpost. Need paper copy AND digital copy in your DSN:
    • you have investigated a particular chemical reaction (or family of reactions) and have gathered and analyzed both quantitative and qualitative data

    • chemical formula and other visual representation of a chemical reaction (like the ball and stick models of molecules) must be included and explained based on acquired data and observations

    • chemical formula or other visual representation of a chemical reaction must also demonstrate an understanding that substances are composed of different types of atoms combined in specific ways

    • demonstrate an understanding of the Law of the Conservation of Mass/Matterand how it is represented in your chemical change investigation

    • your investigation procedure should be documented in your final product

    • a final product (see below) (a clear photograph, a link and/or file is needed in addition to any material pieces as your situation warrants)

    • reference list–complete bibliographic information

    • a reflection outlining how each of the learning criteria are met in your final product—how you have “met” or “approached” each of the listed standards with examples drawn from your work. Explain specifically (with examples) how your thinking about matter has grown and changed during the course. Comment on your level of effort–DSN complete and up-to-date? Matter chart as complete as possible? Did you attempt the matter chart and try to link observations with explanations using atoms and molecules? What did you learn by trying to develop explanations for the variety of things you/we observed?


Who has been following the recent landing on Mars?  See this from BBC. <https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46351114>. And this from NASA <https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/>. See what else you can find. What questions do you have?

Photos taken in the last few weeks in India. 1. The constellation Orion before dawn from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand during fall break. 2. Venus just before dawn last weekend from Panna Tiger Reserve in Madya Pradesh. 3. Full moon around 9:00 pm last weekend from Panna Tiger Reserve in Madya Pradesh. Stars, planet, Earth’s moon. How far are these objects from the Earth? Do they move about? In what manner?


Complete as much of the following as you can. Before the end of class today, be sure to see the description of the summative assessment project at the end of this post–Making a model of our solar system to scale by size and distance.

  • Answer the following in your digital science notebook–in the astronomy folder:
  • What do you already know about the earth, the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars, the universe? Do NOT look up any answers. Respond based on what you currently know or think you know.
  • These questions are important to think about and to write about: How do you know? How do we know? How do astronomers know? What are the methods of observation and argument?
  • Answer the following questions in your digital science notebook/take the survey and record your responses in your dsn: 
  • https://www.learner.org/teacherslab/pup/studentquestions.html
  • (You may use your own headphones for the next part, or, if they are available, check them out. If you do not have headphones, keep the volume low so others are not disturbed.)
  • Watch the following video about students’ ideas in astronomy: A Private Universe http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=9  OR https://vimeo.com/113349804
  • Write a summary in your DSN. List your questions. What are your private conceptions?

Watch the following video. Write a summary in your DSN. Explain the procedure used. List any questions you have. Read about making the video:

Watch the following videos and write summaries in your DSN–

History of Astronomy (browse the following. Be sure to examine the sites and view videos as we take up our study of astronomy).

See the description of the Summative Assessment Project below. You will build the model in groups, but the assessment project will be completed as individuals. We will use the sidewalk along the street along the west side of the school. We will begin in the next class. Be prepared.


Each class will use San Martin Marg for the site of their models. San Martin Marg runs along the west side of the school. In the picture above, note the scale at the bottom right of the image. You can print this image to help you construct your model.


“The exhibition begins with the sun, located at 13th and Baltimore, with the display running south along Baltimore through the Crossroads District, then ending in front of Union Station. The Voyage experience takes approximately thirty minutes to complete, walking at a leisurely pace from the sun to Pluto.”


***Summative Astronomy Sci 8 18-19 Making a model of our solar system to scale by size and distance***

***Groups prepare and construct the model.

Include the sun and all planets. Include Pluto. Include Ganymede (moon of Jupiter). Include Earth’s moon. Mark on a paper map the “location” distance to the closest star (other than the sun); It is a binary pair–Alpha Centauri <https://www.space.com/18090-alpha-centauri-nearest-star-system.html>. Is your map “big” enough?


  1. Make a video (5 minute limit) (with commentary) OR ebook showing a scale model of solar system with both size and distance illustrated to the same scale.

  2. Produce in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) a written / sketched storyboard.

  3. Present in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) equivalence chart / calculations to objects and orbits in the model.

  4. Provide information about sizes, distances and scale.

  5. Present in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) the directions and inclinations of orbits. (Include interesting facts about the orbits and planets in the commentary.)

8.SC.BTH.A.2 – 2. Developing and using models

8.SC.BTH.A.5 – 5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

8.SC.BTH.B.3 – 3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

8.SC.BTH.E.2 – ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

About rfrazier

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