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Sunday, January 15, 2012

1-15-2012 A Universe of Possibilities

Continuing my way through the standards, offering links, lessons, and ideas to help teach the 
Core Curriculum Content Standards
Science Grades 6-8
5.4 Earth Systems Science: All students will understand that Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic, and interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe.

A. Objects in the Universe :  Our universe has been expanding and evolving for 13.7 billion years under the influence of gravitational and nuclear forces. As gravity governs its expansion, organizational patterns, and the movement of celestial bodies, nuclear forces within stars govern its evolution through the processes of stellar birth and death. These same processes governed the formation of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Content Statement
Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)

The height of the path of the Sun in the sky and the length of a shadow change over the course of a year.


Generate and analyze evidence (through simulations) that the Sun’s apparent motion across the sky changes over the course of a year.

Earth’s position relative to the Sun, and the rotation of Earth on its axis, result in patterns and cycles that define time units of days and years.


Construct and evaluate models demonstrating the rotation of Earth on its axis and the orbit of Earth around the Sun.

The Sun’s gravity holds planets and other objects in the solar system in orbit, and planets’ gravity holds moons in orbit.


Predict what would happen to an orbiting object if gravity were increased, decreased, or taken away.

The Sun is the central and most massive body in our solar system, which includes eight planets and their moons, dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets.


Compare and contrast the major physical characteristics (including size and scale) of solar system objects using evidence in the form of data tables and photographs.


The relative positions and motions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon result in the phases of the Moon, eclipses, and the daily and monthly cycle of tides.


Analyze moon-phase, eclipse, and tidal data to construct models that explain how the relative positions and motions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon cause these three phenomena.


Earth’s tilt, rotation, and revolution around the Sun cause changes in the height and duration of the Sun in the sky. These factors combine to explain the changes in the length of the day and seasons.


Use evidence of global variations in day length, temperature, and the amount of solar radiation striking Earth’s surface to create models that explain these phenomena and seasons.

Gravitation is a universal attractive force by which objects with mass attract one another. The gravitational force between two objects is proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the objects.


Predict how the gravitational force between two bodies would differ for bodies of different masses or bodies that are different distances apart.

The regular and predictable motion of objects in the solar system (Kepler’s Laws) is explained by gravitational forces.


Analyze data regarding the motion of comets, planets, and moons to find general patterns of orbital motion.

Please post a comment below if you have a site or lesson idea to share for teaching this standard.  I would love your input!

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