1.

Curriculum Topic, Subjects and Grade
Grade 6
Science
Understanding Earth and Space Systems
Space
2. Overall and Specific Expectations
1. Assess the impact of space exploration on society and the environment
1.1 Assess the contributions of Canadians to the exploration and scientific understanding of space
1.2 Evaluate the social and environmental costs and benefits of space exploration, taking different
points of view into account
2. Investigate characteristics of the systems of which the earth is a part and the relationship between
the earth, the sun and the moon
2.1 Follow established safety procedures for handling tools and materials and observing the sun
2.2 Use technological problem-solving skills to design, build and test devices for investigating the
motions of different bodies in the solar system
2.3 Use scientific inquiry/research skills to investigate scientific and technological advances that
allow humans to adapt to life in space
2.4 Use appropriate science and technology vocabulary in oral and written communication
2.5 Use a variety of forms to communicate with different audiences and for a variety of purposes
3. Demonstrate an understanding of components of the systems of which the earth is a part and
explain the phenomena that result from the movement of different bodies in space
3.1 Identify components of the solar system and describe their physical characteristics in qualitative
terms
3.2 Identify the bodies in space that emit light and those that reflect light
3.3 Explain how humans meet their basic biological needs in space
3.4 Identify the technological tools and devices needed for space exploration
3.5 Describe the effects of the relative positions and motions of the earth, moon and sun
3 Rationale including what you anticipate the students should know or be able to do by the end of the unit.
By the end of this unit, students should have the skills and knowledge to demonstrate the overall
expectations of the Grade 6 Science and Technology curriculum which includes:
1. Assess the impact of space exploration on the society and the environment.
2. Investigate characteristics of the systems of which the earth is a part and the relationship
between the earth, the sun and the moon.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of components of the systems of which the earth is a part and
explain the phenomena that result from the movement of different bodies in space
4. Timeline
March 9, 2015 – April 2, 2015 (3 weeks)
Lesson 1 – Mar. 10th, Mar. 11th
Lesson 2 – Mar. 12th, Mar. 23rd
Lesson 3 – Mar. 24th, Mar. 25th
Lesson 4 – Mar. 26th, Mar. 27th
Lesson 5 – Mar. 31st to Apr. 2nd
1

Debate:
Class will be divided into groups of specialists (i.e. Scientists, Astronauts, Health care professionals,
general public). These specialists will debate about space exploration from their perspective. Lead a
whole class debriefing session.
Persuasive Writing:
Students are asked to persuade the review committee to reduce its budget or increase spending on space
exploration. They are to use their knowledge from the various activities and learning that happened
throughout the Unit. We will create a persuasive writing, which will be read to the review committee,
our class.
Assessment will be based on the logical basis of arguments presented and the persuasive writing.
Assessment tools used would be the achievement chart and rubric
6. Other Assessments
Diagnostic:
Created anchor charts and Placemat activities
Formative:
Big Bang Theory Lab – conducted the Big Bang Lab and assigned a writing task for the lab
Booklet on Solar System
Summative:
Debate presentation – evaluate based on their knowledge and how they try to persuade the audience
7. Differentiation: Accommodations or Modifications
Different learners will be accommodated through the use of various learning activities that allow
different multiple intelligences to show. The use of mind-maps, student discussion and the freedom of
the student(s) to decide on how to deliver their assignment will help students to be effective in their
learning. English Language Learners will be accommodated when necessary by discussing any new
vocabulary with the class as well as having written copies of information for them to refer to when it is
not initially presented in a written hard copy format. Adjustments for students with IEPs will be made
depending on the individual circumstances of the student involved.
8. Scope and Sequence (attach the 5 individual lesson plans separately)
Lesson 1 – Solar System

The planets move around the sun in almost-circular orbits, all in the same direction.

They are kept in their orbits by the sun's gravity.

Moons orbit most of the planets, kept in orbit by the planets' gravity.

Asteroids orbit the sun
Lesson 2 – Effects on Earth

The sun emits light; the earth and moon shine by reflected light only.

The earth rotates on its axis each day, producing day and night. It also revolves around the sun
each year.

We experience seasons because the earth's axis of rotation is tilted

The moon revolves around the earth each month. The changes in the sun's illumination of the
moon, causes its phases.

Eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun (solar eclipse) or when the moon passes
into the earth's shadow (lunar eclipse)

Tides are caused by the fact that the moon's or sun's gravity pulls more strongly on the side of the
2

earth nearest to them.
Lesson 3 – Space Travel

In order to be in space, the spacecraft must get there. But it will immediately fall back to earth
unless the effect of gravity is balanced by a high enough orbital velocity to keep it in orbit.

Once in space (outside the atmosphere), the spacecraft and its inhabitants (if any) are exposed to
high-energy particles and radiation from the sun, and to micrometeorites.

Activity in space was initially motivated by politics (the space race between USSR and USA),
military (hundreds of secret spy satellites), as well as science and technology.

Peaceful uses of space include: communication, remote sensing, weather, search-and-rescue, GPS,
mapping, and scientific research including Hubble Space Telescope.

Then there are studies of physiology, engineering, and manufacturing in space.
Lesson 4 – Life in Space

In space, there are extremes of temperature, high-energy particles and radiation from the sun, no
atmosphere or atmospheric pressure.

Living organisms must therefore be protected within a spacecraft. They must have a source of
energy, supplies of oxygen, water, and food. These must be carried into space, or recycled from
waste products on board.

The cramped, micro-gravity environment of a spacecraft has potentially harmful physiological and
psychological effects on humans.
Lesson 5 – Costs and Benefits of Exploring Space

Space exploration has brought many benefits to society.

High-quality radio and television signals are now relayed around the globe by satellite.

Biological experiments in space, such as the growing of insulin crystals, are contributing to our
ability to fight disease.

The technology used for space shuttle fuel pumps is now being used to make better artificial
hearts.

Geographical data obtained by satellites have improved the quality of maps and made navigation
safer.

But space exploration is also very expensive, involves risks to the lives of astronauts and others,
produces pollution, and creates space junk that may eventually fall back to Earth.

Are the benefits worth the costs and risks?
9. Notes to the Teacher

3

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