Sliding Telescopes

Sliding Telescopes lesson plan

Telescopes help us see beyond our world. Let your creativity shine with this stellar project!

  • 1.

    When studying space, scientists use sophisticated tools such as a telescope. Discuss with students what they already know about space research and how telescopes help us to gain information about our universe. Post student contributions to the discussion on a classroom white board using Crayola® Dry Erase Markers.

  • 2.

    Round Telescope Decorate two pieces of a 3 x 5" (7.62 x 12.7 cm) piece of Neon Color Explosion® paper. On each piece, fold the paper down ½" (1.27 cm) on one end to display the color on the back of the paper. Punch decorative holes in the paper with a craft punch(optional). If Color Explosion Paper is not available, students may use construction paper and Crayola Washable Markers.

  • 3.

    Roll the papers into tubes. Make the one tube slightly larger in diameter than the other tube. Tape the tubes in place with clear adhesive tape.

  • 4.

    Assemble the telescope by sliding one tube inside the other. Make sure the folded down pieces are on the ends of the telescope so the telescope slides freely.

  • 5.

    Square Telescope: Decorate two 4.5 x 6.5" (11.43 x 16.51 cm) pieces AND two 4 x 6" (10.16 x 15.24 cm) pieces of Neon Color Explosion paper. On each piece, fold the paper down ½" (1.27 cm) on one end to display the color on the back of the paper. Punch decorative holes in the paper with a craft punch (optional).

  • 6.

    Fold each piece of paper in half lengthwise. Create a box by taping the long sides of each size paper together. You will have two boxes, one slightly larger than the other.

  • 7.

    Assemble the telescope by sliding one box inside the other. Make sure the folded down pieces are on the ends of the telescope so the telescope slides freely.

Standards

  • LA: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to grade level topic or subject area.
  • LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • MATH: Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • SCI: Obtain and communicate information about the sizes of stars, including the sun, and their distances from Earth to explain their apparent brightness.
  • SCI: Develop explanations for how patterns in the positions of stars and constellations can be used to navigate on Earth.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of science and technology in the design process for developing and refining devices to understand the universe.
  • SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.
  • SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.
  • SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Space Exploration by Carole Stott; Astronomy by Kristin Lippincott; Universe by Robin Kerrod; Space Exploration by Christine Dugan
  • Who invented the first telescope? What motivated this scientist to achieve this accomplishment? Where was he from? What was his family like? Were they supportive of his work? Students research these questions and organize an electronic presentation to share with classmates.
  • Organize a class trip to a local planetarium. Prior to the visit, students write questions that they would like to answer while on the trip. After the trip, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students work individually or in a team of two to investigate a favorite planet. Using the research, hypothesize what life would be like if a visit was safely arranged to that planet. Create an original postcard to send to friends describing your "visit" to the planet. Illustrate a picture of the planet on one side of the card and describe the visit on the opposite side of the card.