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Develop a Model

Develop a Model

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to represent the natural world using models such as volcanoes or Sun, Earth, and Moon system and identify their limitations, including size, properties, and materials.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that information, critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions.

Science Background

A Closer Look, Scientific Models: Annenberg Learner (website) - Important information about scientific models, what they are, how they are developed, how and why they change over time, and what their limitations are.

A Closer Look, Scientific Models
Annenberg Learner,

Models are the Building Blocks of Science: The University of Texas (website) - Online article discusses different types of models, and explains their purpose and importance in the scientific world and other disciplines.

Models are the Building Blocks of Science
The University of Texas,

Signature Lesson

Modeling Day and Night: BioEd Online (website) – Students develop a model of the Earth using a ping-pong ball to understand the day and night cycle.

Modeling Day and Night
BioEd Online,

Erupting Volcanoes: Science NetLinks (website) – Students investigate the rapid changes that occur during a volcanic eruption by designing and making a volcano model.

Erupting Volcanoes
Science NetLinks,

Supporting Lessons

Build A Solar System: Exploratorium (website) – Students use an online calculator to create a scale model of the solar system on a roll of toilet paper or a tape measure.

Build A Solar System

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

A Scale Model of the Solar System using Play-Doh: NASA (website) - Students shape and arrange balls of Play-Doh into a scale model of our solar system.

A Scale Model of the Solar System using Play-Doh

Assessment Ideas

Have students bring recycling materials from home and use the materials to build a model of something in the solar system.

Literature Connections

Kids’ Paper Airplane Book. Blackburrn, Ken (ISBN-13: 978-0761104780)

The LEGO Ideas Book. Lipkowitz, Daniel (ISBN-13: 978-0756686062)

Related Science TEKS

(3.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including observing a schoolyard habitat.

(3.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

(3.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world.

(3.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data.

(3.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.

(3.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations.

(3.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

(3.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.

(3.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(3.4B) Safety Equipment
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

3.13A  The student is expected to collect, organize, record, and display data in pictographs and bar graphs where each picture or cell might represent more than one piece of data.

3.13B  The student is expected to interpret information from pictographs and bar graphs.

Additional Resources

Earth Science Week: American Geosciences Institute. (website) - Find a variety of activities that model earth science processes and structures on this website.

Earth Science Week
American Geosciences Institute,

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