4 October 2011 at 01:10 #15534
I start teaching the GCSE Astronomy course on Wednesday. I’ve decided to start with observing the night sky: constellations etc. The physicist within me wanted to start with the fundamentals of how stars work, or with the Earth and the history of its measurement, but I suspect that most of my students (30 Y10 – Y12 students + 4 staff, to start with at least) will be expecting to hear about the night sky, so I’ll give them that?
I’ll talk a bit, show & recommend Stellarium, and then they’ll make planispheres (from http://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk/interactives/science/earthandbeyond/discovermore/makeanddo.asp
4 October 2011 at 11:51 #15535
My first two lessons (also started teaching it this year) were learning some constellations.
In the first lesson they found images of the constellations and sketched them, followed by a game using black sugar paper and white-chocolate buttons (essentially one person in each group lays out the stars and the first group to get it right eat the buttons they used, the first group to run out of buttons wins – sort of an astronomical pictionary).
The second lesson was the circular part of a planisphere cut up into a jigsaw of the constellations and photocopied. They cut out the pieces and see how the constellations fit together. They then glue this down onto card accurately and use it to make their planisphere.
All the best
4 October 2011 at 15:57 #15536
I must admit I start with the Earth and work outwards. My first lesson however is a general intro and I find the gallery of Hubble images here
a good way of getting awe and wonder as well as provoking lots of discussion.
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