Your students are going to love this lesson on the brightness of stars. This lesson is easy to follow and fun to use and teach with. No prep, just print and teach.
This lesson has been designed to align with the NGSS standard 5-ESS1-1 “support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth”.
Powerpoint – this powerpoint gives an overview of the lifecycle of a star and then looks at our nearest star the sun. The presentation can be done before or after the activities.
What I know About Stars – this activity is to see what their existing knowledge of stars is and what they want to know.
Our Sun and Other Stars Reading Comprehension – this activity looks at our sun as well as other stars. It introduces the concepts of star size, star brightness and the vast distances in space. The reading passage is followed by questions to elicit their understanding.
Watch It Activity – this is a lovely activity that can be shown to the whole group or they can do it independently. This is a short video that compares the sizes of stars in a wonderfully visual way. Students answer questions based on the video on the worksheet.
Star Size Comparison – in this activity the students are provided with facts about stars and a worksheet with the star sizes in the correct proportion. They can make an infographic or a poster based on the facts. Perfect to decorate your classroom!
Explain It – This is a short exercise where students are given information that they must explain. It focuses on them explaining why objects of different sizes are less bright than our sun. The last question is designed to stretch them asking them to explain why two similar stars have different brightness.
Make It Activity – in this activity the students are shown the Orion constellation and must join the dots to make the shape of the hunter. I’ve also included a simplified version.
Wordsearch / Crossword
I’ve included both a Wordsearch and a Crossword. The Crossword is a little more challenging, perfect as an alternative to a quiz.