Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Making a 2 dimensional Orrery. - Section 3: Explore/Explain/Elaborate


In this lesson I had the students use 2 different types of models to show the movement of the Earth and the Moon around the Sun. One was the playground model which allows for kinesthetic learning by the students and the second model was a  2-dimensional paper model made by the students. In a later lesson, my students will be creating a 3 dimensional model of the Sun, Earth and Moon. 

In creating these models, students need to understand that they will not replicate the planetary movements exactly. Almost every model has its imperfections, but they are used so that the students can obtain information about an abstract concept (movement in the Solar System) and make it a bit more concrete. The models are also not made to scale or are they mean to since the focus is on the movement of the planets not the distances they are from each other. 

I like the Article about constructing and modifying models from NSTA as it explains the process students should go through when they are constructing and revising a model throughout an investigation.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Making Models
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Making a 2 dimensional Orrery.

Unit 2: The Sun and Earth Connection
Lesson 8 of 16

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate that the moon revolves and rotates around the Earth while the Earth rotates and revolves around the Sun.

Big Idea: Creating a model orrery of the Sun, Earth and Moon will help students visualize the movement of these 3 objects in the sky and how they are the basis to understanding other patterns we observe.

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  65 minutes
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