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999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

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Science

Earth Science

Power Standards
  • Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.  (MS-ESS1-1)
  • Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. (MS-ESS1-2)

Critical Content

Concepts and Skills

* Power Standard Content

Earth Space Sciences 1.A:  The Universe and Its Stars

  • Patterns of the motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models. (MS-ESS1-1)
  • Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe. (MS-ESS1-2)

Earth Space Sciences 1.B:  Earth and the Solar System

  • The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them. (MS-ESS1-2),(MS-ESS1-3)
  • This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon. Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short-term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year. (MS-ESS1-1)
  • The solar system appears to have formed from a disk of dust and gas, drawn together by gravity. (MS-ESS1-2)
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. (MS-ESS1-3)

Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)

Language Usage

  • A student in seventh grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by creating and using models to explain scientific processes using specific content vocabulary.

 

Content-Specific Vocabulary

  • Lunar phases
  • Gravity
  • Axis
  • Rotation
  • Tides
  • Eclipses
  • Galaxies
  • Solar systems
  • Universe
  • Seasons
  • Star
  • Asteroid
  • Meteorite
  • Comet
  • Orbit

 

Process-Specific Vocabulary

  • Predict
  • Patterns
  • Cycle
  • Scale
  • Model

Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Gravity is the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them.
  • The seasons are a result of Earth’s tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year.
  • Solar system models are scaled representations that help to explain and predict eclipses, lunar phases, and seasons.

 

Factual Guiding Questions

  • What is the earth’s place in the universe? (part of the Milky Way as one of the galaxies in our universe)
  • What makes up our solar system and how can the motion of Earth explain seasons and eclipses?
  • How does the universe appear to have formed?
  • Compare and contrast solar and lunar eclipses.
  • Describe the structure of our solar system.

 

Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What are some of the instruments / technologies that have allowed us to explore our solar system and obtain data that support theories that explain the formation and evolution of the universe?
  • Explain and model the cyclical patterns seen in the motion of the sun, moon and stars.
  • Explain differences in gravity in different parts of our solar system.
  • Create a model (computer or 3D visualization) or analogy of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.

 

Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design

  • Describe the effects on earth if the positions of the earth-sun-moon system were changed.