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Lesson 4: Earth Vs. Sun; May the Strongest Magnetic Field Win!

Stage/Year: Stage 3, Year 6 Time: 1 hour Objective: Students build on their understanding of magnets on earth and continue looking at and discussing the earth’s magnetic field in terms of its uses and how it compares to other magnetic fields. The children will discover and analyse the magnetic properties found on the sun through talking and listening exercises and hands on experiments. Syllabus Links: Resources: SC4-10PW; - describe the behaviour of magnetic poles • Neodymium magnet x 5 when they are brought close together • Debris collected from • investigate how magnets and electromagnets are drain/gutter x 5 handful sized used in some everyday devices or technologies heaps(if possible after rainfall to used in everyday life achieve better results) ST3-8ES; - research the key features of the planets of • Blank paper x5 the solar system (inclusive of the sun) (Adapted, BOS, • Compass x 5 2012a) • Soho images x 5 of each EN3-1A; - use interaction skills, for example (Appendix 4.1) paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal • Youtube clipcues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes ?v=ie_6T84QuMQ • participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions EN3-9E; - formulate questions for specific purposes Summary table of KSK: • Micrometeorites and meteorite dust can be found and collected within the debris found on earths’ surface. These micrometeorites fall from meteorites out in space (Magnetman, 2013) • Micrometeorites are made up of rock, iron & nickel or both. Those composed of iron & nickel are magnetic, thus are attracted to other magnets (PBS, 2004). • The Earth’s magnetic field (located in and makes up magnetosphere) protects human and plant life from dangerous particles from space and harmful radiation and solar wind from the sun (Windows to the Universe, 2012). • The magnetic field is what allows gadgets such as compasses to work do to the presence of the north and south poles (Creation Evidences Museum, 1995) • The suns magnetic field (similar to that of earth’s as it has two poles and is like a bar magnet), is created by electric currents within it and extends throughout the solar system as a result of solar wind (made up of charged particles released from activity on the sun) (Tate, 2013). • Sunspots are areas on the sun which consist of the strongest magnetic force (NASA, n.d.) Lesson Overview: Introduction (20mins) Set up on each table (tables set up in groups) 1 neodymium magnet, 1 piece of paper and a pile of the collected debris. Have students pour the debris onto the paper, carefully lift the paper and

run the magnet underneath it pulling any collected ‘bits’ to the side. Have students in their groups discuss their findings and hypothesise what they think this may be, why it was attracted by the magnet and where it came from. Regroup and share ideas. Draw students attention to key points such as “the bits collected contain metals in them (possibly iron or nickel) making them magnetic. Draw on issues about how these “bits” fell from the sky, however must have come from outer space. Discuss how things such as meteorites float in outer space and eventually make their way to earth. Identify what meteorites are made of and link this to the little pieces of metal attracted to their magnets- Micrometeorites! Body (25mins) Working in their original groups students discuss and answer the following questions: 1. Why do you think Big meteorites are not found on our planet. 2. Does something protect us? What is it called? (think back to last lesson) 3. What else from space could Hit our planet? Students regroup and watch YouTube clip. Share students’ answers and link these to the issues discussed in the short video. Based on the clip identify with students what else has a magnetic field and make comparisons on the IWB between the sun and the earth (size, temperature, etc.). Test the strength of earth and sun’s magnetic field using an ordinary compass (Earth’s magnetic field) and a magnet (sun’s magnetic field). Have students student’s hypothesis what will happen to the compass/which field will be stronger and why. Complete this experiment in their groups and have students record their findings. Conclusion (15mins) Share student’s findings and identify how the sun’s magnetic field is stronger because of its electrical currents within its core and size compared to earth. Students look at images of the sun in their groups and as a class analyse its features and identify the dark areas as sunspots and explain what these are and their relationship to the sun’s magnetic field. Simplification: Ensure extra one-on-one assistance is available for these students and provide more structured questioning to prompt thought for added support. Extension: Question students further to engage them in deeper thought about the sun’s magnetism. Encourage students to aid the thinking of their peers through hypothesising with them.

Additional Learning Opportunities: • Students draw and label the earth and the sun’s magnetic field and make comparisons between the two • Encourage students to research other methods for proving the strength of the sun’s magnetic field in comparison to the earth’s • Students examine other images from SOHO which highlight the structure of the sun and make links between this and its highly magnetised area.