Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Investigating Star Brightness, Distance, Size, & Temperature - Section 4: Reflect & Apply


According to Science & Engineering Practice 2, Developing and Using Models, examples of models include diagrams, physical replicas, math representations, analogies, and computer simulations.

To support student understanding of star distances, sizes, and temperatures during today's lesson, I purposefully use a variety of models:

  • Video Comparing Stars (to model star sizes)
  • Video & Analogy: Campfire (to model star temperatures)
  • Picture: Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram (to model star size and temperatures)
  • Simplified Diagram: Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram (to model star size and temperatures)
  • Physical Replicas: Flashlights (to model star distances and sizes)


When students have multiple pathways to learning and layered instruction, the process of learning new information becomes more effective. In fact, throughout today's lesson, I notice how student understanding of stars deepens with each model. 

  Using Multiple Models
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Using Multiple Models
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Investigating Star Brightness, Distance, Size, & Temperature

Unit 4: The Sun & Earth' s Patterns
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: SWBAT explain what causes stars to be brighter and what causes some stars to appear brighter than others.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students explore the relationships between star brightness, distance, size, and temperature by examining the Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram and investigating with flashlights.

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39 teachers like this lesson
Science, sun, Earth and Space Science, stars, distance, temperature, investigation, star brightness, Size, pattern, time, seasons
  75 minutes
students with flashlights
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