This activity requires approximately four 30-minute classes: one for research, one for creation, one for sharing with group, one for sharing with class and mounting on wall.
107-3: compare tools, techniques, and scientific ideas used by different people around the world to interpret natural phenomena and meet their needs (e.g., compare how different cultures over time, such as the Celts, the Aztecs, and the Egyptians, have traced the positions of stars to determine the appropriate time to plant and harvest crops)
107-15: describe scientific and technological achievements that are the result of contributions by people from around the world (e.g., describe international contributors related to the construction of the space station)
205-8: identify and use a variety of sources and technologies to gather pertinent information (e.g., use electronic and print resources or visit a planetarium to gather information on the visual characteristics of planets)
207-2: communicate procedures and results, using lists, notes in point form, sentences, charts, graphs, drawings, and oral language (e.g., write a postcard describing your holiday on a planet other than Earth and include in the description the key characteristics of that planet)
This lesson is designed to help students gain an understanding of how the science of astronomy has evolved over the centuries. It also gives students the opportunity to see how international collaboration within the field of astronomy has lead to new discoveries and applications.
By working cooperatively within groups, students will each research and present assigned segments of a timeline, describing the progression of astronomical discovery throughout history. Through cooperative learning, students will teach their peers about their segments and thereby be responsible for their group's learning.
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Discuss the applications of space research to our modern society (eg., how stationing sattelites in space for research purposes has led to advancements in radio and television communication via sattelite; meteorological observation/predictions made possible by sattelite). Where would society be today without previous centuries' astronomical research?
Explain the project to follow:
students will have one class period to research their topic, one to create a poster of their findings, one to present it to their group, and one to share the group's completed timeline with the class. The groups will each choose their best segment(s) to mount on the wall/bulletin board as part of a class timeline.
present students with materials.
present students with copies of the Cooperative Learning Rubric, explaining that they will be evaluated based upon these criteria
After presenting their completed timelines to the class, groups should be asked to choose one or two of their best posters to contribute to the class for mounting on the wall/bulletin board. Students can then be instructed to return to their desks to write brief paragraphs describing one event which they did NOT research personally.
Evaluation should be based upon the Cooperative Learning Rubric, as explained to students earlier. Posters may be evaluated according to neatness, clarity, accuracy, and presentation.