Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mass Matters

Tami McConnell
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

This lesson is a creative way to illustrate the relationship between the stages in a star's life and the star's mass. The student creates a concept map to organize the stages in the development of three categories of stars.

Objectives

The student knows that the stages in the development of three categories of stars are based on mass: stars that have the approximate mass of our Sun, stars that are two- to three-stellar masses and develop into neutron stars, and stars that are

Materials

-Reading material or notes related to key concepts (See Associated File for samples)
-Information Worksheet (See Associated File)
-Poster board (large sheets of construction paper can be used)
-Note cards or Post-It notes
-Colored pencils or markers
-Rulers (or any straightedge)

Preparations

1. Select reading material (textbook, article, prepared notes, resources from Weblinks, etc.).
2. Make copies of the Information Worksheet. (See Associated File) Note: A class set can be used to save paper.
3. Gather materials for activity.

Procedures

Prerequisite: Students should have prior experience with concept mapping. If this is a new process for students, the concept mapping skill should be taught prior to this activity. (See Weblinks and Associated File for resources)

1. At the beginning of class, select a large boy and a small girl. (Note: This helps feelings from getting hurt about size issues.) Have both students stand up. Ask the class, “Which student would you want as your offensive lineman if you were the quarterback?” Emphasize the point that in many cases, “mass matters.”

2. Discuss reading material (textbook, article, notes etc.). Reading can be assigned before lesson. (See Weblinks for possible resources)

3. Ask students if they can identify any factors that may determine the stages in a star’s life. (Lead them to the conclusion that a star's mass is the main factor.)

4. Have students pair up and work in teams for the remainder of this activity.

5. Distribute Information Worksheet (See Associated File) and note cards or Post-It notes.

6. Direct each pair of students to answer the Information Worksheet on a separate sheet of paper. Give constructive feedback.

7. Review with students how to make a concept map. (See Weblinks and Associated File for resources)

8. Ask students to give examples of concept maps for other topics. Encourage students to model concept mapping construction from their examples on the board or overhead. (If time does not allow, teacher can model the construction process.)

9. Instruct students to transfer the key concepts from the Information Worksheet for each star category onto the note cards or Post-It notes.

10. Distribute activity materials (poster board or construction paper, ruler, colored pencils or markers).

11. Using the note cards or Post-It notes, and other materials provided, have students create a concept map detailing the stages in the development of the three categories of stars.

12. Collect for teacher feedback.

13. Next class session, have students make changes to their concept maps based on constructive feedback given by teacher.

14. Discuss possible concept map results (they can vary). Invite students to share their concept maps orally with the class.

Assessments

Use completed Information Worksheet (See Associated File) to formatively assess the student’s ability to:

Know that the stages in the development of three categories of stars are based on mass.
-Stars that have the approximate mass of our sun are considered average in size and develop into white or black dwarfs.
-Stars that are two to three stellar masses are considered large in size and develop into neutron stars.
-Stars that are five to six stellar masses are considered gigantic and develop into black holes.

Use Concept Map Rubric (See Associated File) to determine if students' work on the concept map is emerging, competent, or exemplary.

Extensions

1. See Weblinks for alternative assessment ideas that could be used with ESE and ESOL students.
2. A quiz of key concepts can be given to bring closure to the activity.

Web Links

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Rubric From home page, go to “Science”

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Rubrics

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Rubric

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Concept Mapping

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Concept Mapping

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Concept Mapping

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Lesson Plan

Web supplement for Mass Matters
NASA

Web supplement for Mass Matters
Alternative Assessment Resources

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