Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth. 5-ESS1-1
Clarification Statement: none
Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to relative distances, not sizes, of stars. Assessment does not include other factors that affect apparent brightness (such as stellar masses, age, stage).
Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. 5-ESS1-2
Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include the position and motion of Earth with respect to the sun and selected stars that are visible only in particular months.
Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include causes of seasons.
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used.
Represent data in graphical displays (bar graphs, pictographs and/or pie charts) to reveal patterns that indicate relationships. (5-ESS1-2)
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Engaging in argument from evidence in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to critiquing the scientific explanations or solutions proposed by peers by citing relevant evidence about the natural and designed world(s).
Support an argument with evidence, data, or a model. (5-ESS1-1)
The Universe and Its Stars
The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth. (5-ESS1-1)
Earth and the Solar System
The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year. (5-ESS1-2)
Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena. (5-ESS1-2)
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Natural objects exist from the very small to the immensely large. (5-ESS1-1)
More resources added each week!
A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support
the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
When watching this video, students will observe tree shadows changing direction while the sun appears to move in the sky over the course of the day. This anchor phenomenon can be used to prompt student questions and initiate further investigatio ...
By watching this episode of Crash Course Kids, students will learn why different constellations appear in the night sky from season to season. They will also find out why people in the Northern Hemisphere view different constellations than people in ...
In this activity students explore the relative size of the sun and Earth as well as the distance between them at that relative size. This activity serves as a first step to building understanding of distances in space.
The key questions of the lesson are “What is the pattern of the sun’s tracks?” and “How do the sun’s tracks compare from season to season?” Students measure the angle of the sun at different times of the day using ...
Students graph the local periods of sunlight and darkness in a 24-hour day using gathered sunrise and sunset times. They make comparisons between periods of sunlight and darkness on different days of the year. The data is represented ...
This is a formative assessment probe designed to elicit student ideas about why constellations that we can view in the night sky change with the seasons. It poses a situation of a class visit to the planetarium where the program is about the su ...
This explanatory video demonstrates how shadows change in direction and length as the sun's position changes in the sky. A featured "investigation" illustrates this phenomena using an example of a lamppost shadow&nb ...
This is a formative assessment probe designed to elicit student ideas about the relative positions of objects seen in the sky. Students observe a picture of a person viewing the night sky and wonder about the distance of the moon and stars ...
Participants use provided images of earth and space objects to arrange them in order of their size, their distance from Earth, their temperature, and/or their age. Through this work students represent and confront their mental models of space an ...
This interactive simulation provides a model of the sun’s apparent motion from two different perspectives on a single applet: (1) a space based view, and (2) how a stick figure’s shadow changes on Earth using a horizon diagram. The ...
This resource is a packet of supplementary curriculum materials for grades 2-4 developed by the Stanford SOLAR (Solar On-Line Activity Resources) Center in conjunction with NASA and the Learning Technologies Channel. This evaluation refers to t ...
This resource provides methods for teaching students to calculate and graph photoperiod (amount of daylight) over time. There are several tips from teachers that have used this in their classrooms with methods for younger students or struggling stude ...
This resource provides teaching suggestions with a slideshow and photo gallery (showing hourly movement) as well as an animation of Earth’s rotation to develop understanding of day and night. This can be used as a stand-alone activity or as par ...
Stellarium is a free open source software project that makes your computer a virtual planetarium. Students can use the program to find the positions of the Sun and Moon, planets and stars. With the program they can show how the sky w ...
Students construct a size-distance scale model for the sun, Earth, moon and stars. In addition, they use their bodies and movements to model the relationship between time and astronomical motions of Earth (rotation on its axis and orbit around ...
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Developing and Using Models
Scientists and Engineers are Imaginative
Scientists and Engineers are Patient
Scientists and Engineers are Visionary
Scientists and Engineers are Inquisitive
Scientists and Engineers are Passionate
Scientists and Engineers are Persuasive
Find out more about how our sun's position in the sky changes due to Earth's rotation, revolution and tilt. Learn from the experts -- Dr. Alex Young and Dr. Nicki Viall explain these connections so students understand patterns within the Earth-sun re...
Youtube video of interactive lunar phase simulation with explanation.