Lesson 5: A Model of the Sun's Interior

Timeframe

This lesson will require approximately one 30-minute class.

Objectives

205-2
Select and use tools in manipulating materials and in building models (e.g., select appropriate materials to build model constellations)
300-23
Describe the physical characteristics of components of the solar system - specifically, the sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and meteors

General Objectives

Students will build on previous learning to create a three-dimensional model of the Sun with plasticine, identifying six layers of the Sun's interior.

Students will reinforce their understanding of basic colour mixing.

Curricular Connections

  • Visual Arts
    • colour mixing
    • three-dimensional sculpture

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will build on previous learning to create a three-dimensional model of the Sun with plasticine, identifying six layers of the Sun's interior.

Materials and Resources

  • plasticine for each student: one block each of the primary colours, and white
  • sharp knives
  • black squares of paper for mounting
  • white pencils for labelling
  • paper clips
  • pictures of the Sun's interior, one for each student

Applet

pictures of sample model, or (preferably) a model completed by teacher

Vocabulary

  • Sun
  • corona
  • transition zone
  • chromosphere
  • photosphere
  • convection zone
  • radiation zone
  • core

Developing the Lesson

Distribute pictures of the Sun's interior to students, as well as pictures of and/or actual model of the lesson; discuss layers briefly, as this should be a review of previous learning. Explain the process of today's lesson as follows:

  • students will each receive blocks of plasticine; this must be used carefully to avoid waste.
  • models should begin very small (Sun's core should be about the size of a small marble).
  • students must be careful when adding additional layers to:
    • pay attention to relative thickness of layers
    • avoid pressing current layer into the previous layer, mixing them
    • make layers as smooth and round as possible
  • students can practice their colour mixing skills to create pleasing colours for each of the Sun's layers; colours used are unimportant, but completed model must be accompanied by a colour key identifying each layer of the Sun.
  • when all layers have been carefully added and Sun is smooth and round, students should approach teacher for supervised use of sharp knife to cut away approximately 1/4 of their model (in pie shape), revealing the interior layers.

Closure

When models are complete, students should each place their artwork on black squares of paper labelled with white pencil with their names. Colour keys should be paper clipped to the black paper to await evaluation.

Evaluation

Evaluation for this lesson should be based upon neatness, adherence to instructions, and accuracy of layers.