Lesson 2: The Amazing and Beautiful Aurora

Part A. Aurora Webquest

Timeframe

This activity will require approximately one 30-minute period:

  • 1 class for students to complete the WebQuest activity

Objectives

205-7
Record observations using a single word, notes in point form, sentences, and simple diagrams and charts (e.g., use a data table to record night sky observations)

General Objectives

Through this lesson students will become more familiar with the mysterious and beautiful aurora. Students will learn that the aurora are connected to sunspots and solar flares and that they can be seen from both extreme northern and southern latitudes.

Curricular Connections

  • Information and Communication Technologies
    • Internet research
  • Language Arts
    • Descriptive writing

Lesson Overview

Students will use an Internet WebQuest research activity to learn of the intricate nature of the aurora borealis. Students will learn that the aurora are connected to sunspots and solar flares and that they can be seen from both extreme northern and southern latitudes. Students will also observe several amazing and beautiful images of the aurora and the will have the opportunity to draw and sketch the aurora.

Auroras: Paintings in the Sky

Materials and Resources

Nota : This page contains documents for which the access may require a particular software. If the software is not installed, you can download it and follow the instructions for installation.

Vocabulary

  • magnetic fields
  • corona
  • solar flare
  • photosphere
  • Aurora Borealis
  • magnetic pole
  • charged particles

Developing the Lesson

  1. Comment that this is an group investigative activity
  2. Handout resources...
    • Student WebQuest sheet
  3. Explain time frames
    • approx. 1 class for WebQuest
  4. Explain lab protocol
    • what students can and cannot do in the computer lab
    • no off-task surfing
    • stop when the time is up
  5. Assign students to groups
    • 2 students per group
  6. Dismiss students to their groups to begin their task
  7. After 40 min. reassemble the class and commence closure activity

Closure

As a closure activity, teacher should review the questions from the student WebQuest worksheet. The teacher may wish to ask several students to share their previous thoughts on the cause and origin of the aurora.

Evaluation

The student WebQuest worksheet should be taken in and graded for completeness and correct responses. Teachers may also wish to evaluate students' ability to work within their small groups.