Outcome SS6.2: lesson 1 (3 to 5 days)
Students will form small groups to research how different cultures have recorded (e.g., medicine
wheel, Mayan calendar, Stonehenge, pyramids) and used understandings of astronomical
• Learning Objectives
As a result of this lesson, my students will sense an appreciation for how different cultures have
used the solar system as a means to predict events and keep track of time. My students will be
able to recognize different calendars, which cultures used them, why, and what was their
• Teaching schedule
- (20-30 minutes) ENGAGE.
Have students create their own sundials outside. Ask students to collect 13 rocks and a short stick, then
do this activity: (http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_experiments/sundial-1.html#more),
instead of going out every hour, have students guess how to create one themselves while asking
questions along the way that will point them in the right direction. (ex: will it have a typical clock layout?
Think of the position of the sun.” Have students look at a clock to match to the time to their sundial.
Discuss how it works. Visit the sundial again after some time goes by to see how the shadow moves.
- (30 minutes) EXPLORE.
Put students into small groups and choose one of the following: medicine wheel, Mayan calendar,
Stonehenge, or pyramids. They will each create a short presentation about who used it, what they used
it for, what it looked like, and any other important/interesting facts.
Class two (may have a few work periods, present on last day)
- (30 minutes) EXPLAIN.
Have students present their findings to the class (each taking about 5-7 minutes).
• Instructional Strategies: group work, group presentations, inquiry
• Assessment and/or Feedback: see attached rubric
• Adaptations: organize groups so that stronger learners may be with students who have difficulty.
•List of teaching aids/preps: 13 rocks and a stick for sundial, materials students may need for
-Outcome: Assess the efficacy of various methods of representing and interpreting astronomical phenomena, including
phases, eclipses, and seasons. [CP, SI]
-Indicator: Examine how people of different cultures, including First Nations, have recorded (e.g., medicine wheel,
Mayan calendar, Stonehenge, pyramids) and used understandings of astronomical phenomena (e.g., positions of
the stars and/or planets) to solve practical problems such as the appropriate time to plant and harvest crops, to
support navigation on land and water, or to foretell significant events through stories and legends.