Grade: 5
Subject: Science - Astronomy
Skies Around the World
Vocabulary: astrolabe, latitude, celestial, solar quadrant

Expected Outcome Of This Lesson Plan-
Students work collaboratively to carry out investigations. They observe and make accurate measurements, increase their use of tools and instruments, record data in journals, and communicate results through chart, graph, written, and verbal forms. Students repeat investigations, explain inconsistencies, and design projects.
5.2.7 Read and follow step-by-step instructions when learning new procedures.
Students continue to investigate changes of Earth and the sky. They explore, describe, and classify materials, motion, and energy.
Observe the stars and identify stars that are unusually bright and those that have unusual colors, such as reddish or bluish.
Observe and describe that stars are like the sun, some being smaller some being larger, but they are so far away that they look like points of light.

Teacher Objectives-
1.The students will discover how and why the sky changes as an observer moves from the equator toward the poles.
2.The students will construct an astrolabe and use it to determine the elevation of objects.
3.The student will construct a solar quadrant and use it to determine their latitude.
4. The students will learn that differences in the night sky around the world are the basis of celestial navigation.
5. The students will collaborate in groups to discover the angle of the sun and work together towards forming conclusions about navigation.
See p. 25 in DSMII - Asronomy
Teaching Methods-

1. Lesson Introduction-

1. What tools do we use today to navigate through our world?
2. What do you think sailors used?
3. Astro (what does this mean?)

2. Lesson Progression-

1. Show students the Astrolabe and explain how to construct it.
2. Take time to explain how the angle of the sun is determined and how this helps determine ones place on the planet.
3. Model the activity and explain to them that they will do this today and then teach someone else how to do this for homework.

3. Guided Practice-

1. Students will complete Activity sheet B and C.
2. Students will begin to hang up stars to demonstrate an understanding of the sky as we see it during our 8pm observations.


4. Student Practice-

Students will view the sky at 6:45am to compare their viewings at 8pm. They will note what they have observed and share during the next session. Students will demonstrate to an adult or friend how to use the astrolabe and explain what kind of information we gather from using this tool.

5. Learner Accommodations-

Higher level questions:
What other items could you use to determine where you are on the Earth if you were stranded?
How could you determine if you were heading north or south?
How would navigation be different in the southern hemisphere than it is in the northern hemisphere?

6. Assessment-

1. Students should be able to demonstrate to the teacher how to use the astrolabe.
2. Students should be able to answer the questions on activity sheet 3, part B and C.
3. Check for student understanding as they share their experiences on part 2 of this lesson.

7. Lesson Closure-

1. Students share their knowledge on astrolabe.
2. Students share the beginnings of the night sky in the LGI by turning out the lights.
Measuring Student Progress-
1.Students' astrolabe will be reviewed using rubric.

This Lesson Plan is available at (