At the end of this comprehensive life cycle of a star lesson plan, students will be able to demonstrate and predict the sequence of events in the life cycle of a star. They will also be able to demonstrate the life cycle of a star based on the size of a given star and predict the phases of a star’s life cycle. Each lesson is designed using the 5E method of instruction to ensure maximum comprehension by the students.
The following post will walk you through each of the steps and activities from the life cycle of a star lesson plan.
At the beginning of the lesson, the class will discuss the objectives and some of the relevant vocabulary using the included objective statements and word wall cards.
The engagement continues with a with a Think-Pair-Share activity to discuss the objective. Students will name life cycles that they are familiar with, create a pictograph of the life cycle of a human, and predict what the life cycle of a star might look like. This activity will allow teachers to see where student misconceptions are on the topic of the life cycle of a star.
Estimated Class Time for the Engagement: 20-30 minutes
This student-centered station lab is set up so students can begin to explore the life cycle of a star. Four of the stations are considered input stations where students are learning new information about a star’s life cycle, and four of the stations are output stations where students will be demonstrating their mastery of the input stations. Each of the stations is differentiated to challenge students using a different learning style. You can read more about how I set up the station labs here.
Students will be working in pairs to make qualitative observations of a star life cycle diagram. Students will be instructed to focus their attention on 4 different sections of the diagram that will help students understand how a star is born and what happens to a star when it dies, depending on its size.
At this station, students will be watching a detailed 5-minute video about the life cycle of a star. The short video covers how stars are born and will explain the type of event caused by the size of the star at its birth. There are 3 questions related to the life cycle of a star which students will answer on their lab sheet.
The research station will allow students to go online and play an interactive game that allows them to birth a star. If students make a mistake, they will be asked a question before being allowed to restart. Students will then be asked to answer 3 questions based on what they learned during the game.
This station will provide students with a one page reading about the life cycle of a star, in particular, a supernova. Students are asked four questions about the reading, including how supernovas are formed, where they take place, what role they have in the universe, and why they are hard to spot in our galaxy.
The assess it station is where students will go to prove mastery over the concepts they learned in the lab. The questions are set up in a standardized format with multiple choice answers. Some questions include asking about the formation of stars, black holes, and factors that impact the life cycle of stars.
Students who can answer open-ended questions about the lab truly understand the concepts that are being taught. At this station, the students will be answering three questions like how mass impacts the cycle of a star and the role of a nebula in a star’s life cycle.
Your visual students will love this station. Students will be drawing a diagram of how low-mass and high-mass stars are formed starting at the nebula phase.
The organize it station allows your students to use a manipulative to ensure their understanding of the life cycle of a star. Students will use cards and arrows to build a life cycle of a star.
Estimated Class Time for the Exploration: 1-2, 45 minute class periods
The explanation activities will become much more engaging for the class once they have completed the exploration station lab. During the explanation piece, the teacher will be clearing up any misconceptions about the life cycle of a star with an interactive PowerPoint, anchor charts, and interactive notebook activities. The life cycle of a star lesson includes a PowerPoint with activities scattered throughout to keep the students engaged.
The students will also be interacting with their journals using INB templates for the star life cycle. Each INB activity is designed to help students compartmentalize information for a greater understanding of the concept. The life cycle of a star INB templates will challenge the students to understand and visualize the star life cycle and will help students understand how stars are born and what happens when they die out.
Estimated Class Time for the Exploration: 2-3, 45 minute class periods
The elaboration section of the 5E method of instruction is intended to give students choice on how they can prove mastery of the concept. When students are given choice the ‘buy-in’ is much greater than when the teacher tells them the project they will have to create. Each of the star life cycle projects will allow students to explain and predict the birth of stars and what happens when they die out based on their size.
Estimated Class Time for the Elaboration: 2-3, 45 minute class periods (can also be used as an at-home project)
The final piece of the 5E model is to evaluate student comprehension. Included in every 5E lesson is a homework assignment, assessment, and modified assessment. Research has shown that homework needs to be meaningful and applicable to real-world activities in order to be effective. When possible, I like to give open-ended assessments to truly gauge the student’s comprehension.
Estimated Class Time for the Elaboration: 1, 45 minute class period
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