Earth Science Learning Community

Gravity: The glue that holds the solar system together.

Lesson Plan

Grade Level; 6

State Standards:

2006 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks.

The Earth in the Solar System

Physical Science 6-8

Properties of matter

Essential Question:

Lesson Question:

At the end of the lesson, you will be able to answer the following question:
What is the relationship between the mass of an object and its gravitational pull? You will be able to give an example of two objects in our solar system and explain how the gravitational pull of one object affects the other.

Introduction:

What is the force that keeps everything on the surface of Earth? What keeps Earth revolving around the sun and not hurling off into the emptiness of space? In this lesson you will find out about the glue that keeps our solar system together.

Task:

You will go to the following website: "Galileo: His Experiments."
And complete the section titled falling objects. Before you make your decision and click “drop the cannonballs” write on a piece of paper the answer to these questions: What choice did you make? Why did you make this choice? Then “drop the cannonballs” What happens? Were you correct in your selection? Explain why this happens on your paper.

Lesson Experiences:

  1. First, you will answer the questions that are on the overhead in your journal: What keeps objects on earth from falling off into space? What keeps earth and the other object in our solar system in their orbits in space? Why do these objects revolve around the sun?
  2. Discuss your answers with your lab partner; do you have the same answers/thoughts?
  3. Fill out the K&W chart on gravity .
  4. We will then go to the computer lab and complete the task listed above on the teacher’s domain website. Make sure to write down your answers in your journal.
  5. After you have finished the task then you will watch the short clip also on teacher’s domain titled Galileo on the moon. Write a short reflection in your journal.
  6. Discuss the KW section of their chart with your partner, add to your chart if necessary
  7. Class discussion about gravity.
  8. Go to www.brainpop.com and watch the movie on Gravity.
  9. There is an activity worksheet that you can find when you click activities and you should complete the first worksheet with your partner, print it out when you are finished, you may need to watch the video more than once.
  10. You should complete the quiz on the brain pop website and write down your grade in your journal.
  11. If you have extra time at the end of class you should play the solar system game that you can find by clicking “game up”

Conclusion:

At the end of this lesson, you will have explored the relationship between the mass of an object and its gravitational pull on other objects and how this property can be applied to why the objects in our solar system revolve around the sun.

Assessments:

To assess this lesson there will a few different smaller assessments including a brainpop quiz, an “L” portion of a KWL chart and a paragraph that students will write about the relationship between gravity and mass. The brainpop quiz is a ten question multiple choice assessment and the “L” portion of the chart is just a quiz snapshot of what students have learned during the lesson. The paragraph will be graded using the rubric below.

Students will write a short paragraph answering the following question:
Why do objects in our solar system revolve around the sun? Give an example of two different objects in the solar system and explain why they revolve around the sun and/or around another object in the solar system. Be sure to use the words gravity, gravitational pull, and mass in your answer.

Assessment Rubric

You will be able to... Strong Good Adequate Inadequate Weighting
Describe the relationship between mass and gravitational pull. Explains how gravity and mass are related because the greater the mass of an object, the greater its gravitational pull Describes the relationship but misses one key concept (either mass or gravity) Briefly explains the relationship but not in detail Does not describe the relationship correctly. 5 points
Describe that the sun is the most massive object in the solar system therefore it has the greatest gravitational pull. Describes that the sun is the most massive object in the solar system therefore it has the greatest gravitational pull Describes the relationship but does not back up their reasoning. Briefly explains the relationship but not in detail. Does not describe the relationship correctly. 5 points
Use key vocabulary terms in paragraph correctly Uses key vocabulary terms in paragraph correctly: sun, planet, moon, gravity, gravitational pull, mass, revolution Uses most of the terms correctly but leaves out two or fewer terms. Uses some terms correctly but leaves out more than two terms. Does not use terms correctly or does not mention all key vocabulary terms 5 points
Give two examples of two objects in the solar system and explain how their revolution relates to gravity. Gives two examples of two objects in the solar system and explain how their revolution relates to gravity. Give two example but does not explain them in detail or relate them to mass/gravity Gives one example of an object in the solar system Does not give examples of objects in the solar systems 5 points
Use correct grammar and spelling Uses correct grammar and spelling throughout the paragraph. Uses mostly correct grammar and spelling in the paragraph Makes some spelling and grammar mistakes. Makes many spelling and grammar mistakes 5 points

 

Resources:

http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html
"Galileo on the Moon." Teachers' Domain. 29 Jan. 2004. Web. 30 May. 2013. http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.galmoon/
"Galileo: His Experiments." Teachers' Domain. 29 Jan. 2004. Web. 30 May. 2013. http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.galileoexp.
http://www.brainpop.com/science/motionsforcesandtime/gravity/activity/
http://www.brainpop.com/science/motionsforcesandtime/gravity/