The Hertzsprung-Russell HR Diagram is commonly viewed by students as simply another graph to make or even worse, simply another graph to observe and memorize. The day that my students create and interpret the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram is one of my absolute favorite days of the year.
They are all challenged and a little uncomfortable with the massive amount of information on the diagram and what can be learned from it, but with support they leave with a better understanding of the HR Diagram, the different types of stars and the stellar life cycle. Students also leave feeling more confident in their ability to interpret a graph and utilize large amounts of information to come to a conclusion.
The HR Diagram deserves a hands-on, interactive, student-centered makeover. However, making and observing graphs rarely inspire wonder in our students.
Thankfully, I downloaded their wonderful HR Diagram lesson 5 years ago. The manipulatives are circles containing the color, mass, brightness, and in some cases lifespan of actual stars in our universe from TERC Astrobiology. In the insanity that is the first year of teaching, I decided that I needed 7 classroom sets 96 per set of the colorful star circles you can see below so that groups of students could construct the diagram.
These star circles need to be printed in color whatever the cost. I am generally thrifty, but students articulate the relationship between color,temperature and brightness more effectively when they see the colors that clarify these relationships. Our marriage survived the hand cramps and my students have benefited from our work year after year. Star circles are easy to mix up and easy to lose. Avoid letting your hard work go to waste or creating additional work for yourself by following these tips:.
The star circles and the lesson I created from the materials kept students active and engaged for an entire block! The graph they make is so large that they have to be up and moving around to put all of their stars on the HR Diagram. For example, they clearly understood that red giants and supergiants were different from regular red stars because of the difference in brightness, not temperature, because they had to look at the brightness differences to plot the points.
Strips of magnets are easily found at craft stores like Jo-Ann Fabrics; make sure to get the coupon from the weekly flyer or from their website on your smart phone. Instead of spending all their time making the graph with the star circles, students will also independently graph a smaller version of the HR Diagram and spend more time on analysis questions that test their understanding of absolute vs.
In the analysis questions, we ask: Are the nearest stars also always the brightest stars as seen from the earth? Give an example with data to prove or disprove. This version still allows for interaction and a more constructivist approach while giving students a preview of the HR Diagram they are about to plot themselves. The possibilities for the star circles are endless. You could use this diagram to trace the life cycle of low and high-mass stars and compare and contrast their color, temperature, and brightness at each stage.
You could create the axes on the walls of your classroom, give each student a star circle, and ask them to plot themselves on your living HR Diagram. While the star circles have enhanced my instruction, I would love to hear more about how you teach the HR Diagram in the comments! I have been looking for this everywhere!Publications overview Annual reports Newsletters Email discussion lists Careers. Careers overview Astrophysics graduate student programs Engineering education program Summer vacation program Work experience for school students Facilities ATNF facilities.
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Optimize fonts for dyslexia This loads a font easier to read for people with dyslexia. Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram Activities There are numerous excellent online and web-based activities related to the HR diagram. Some of these are listed below: Cluster Color-Magnitude Diagrams and the Age of Stars provides colour indices and magnitude data for the Pleiades and 47 Tuc, a globular cluster so that you can plot colour-magnitude diagrams and determine cluster ages.
You can specify a star's parameters and watch it evolve. An evolutionary track is plotted. The site has accompanying explanations and background information. HR Diagram is an exercise that you can print out. It provides background theory and tables of bright and nearby stars for you to plot on the accompanying HR plot and frequency plot.
HR Diagram Simulator allows you to place 1, 10 or stars on the main sequence then compare their evolution off the main sequence either in steps or as a movie. Useful for demonstrating the concept of ZAMS. Jewels of the Night is an excellent and effective activity that you can download and printout.
Students have to classify stars in this open cluster according to colour and magnitude. Has full instructions, worksheets, teacher guide and links. Nearest Stars is a handy list of the 50 nearest stars with several key properties such as parallax, spectral type and apparent and absolute magnitudes listed in table form.
Follow the link to a second table listing the 50 Brightest Stars. Fully searchable, provides professional-grade data and references. Stellar Evolution Simulation from Cornell allows you to alter the mass of a star and see how this affects its evolutionary track from the main sequence onwards. It comes with a useful set of instructions.
Highly recommended. Table of Main Sequence Star Data is a concise set of examples of different spectral classes. There is also a table of the Nearest Stars to Earth. Previous: Types of Stars.Recent site activity Home edited by F. Any questions regarding this site should be directed to wlester salem. Content may not be reproduced without permission.
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In this unit, students begin by studying the location of the Earth in the Universe.
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram Activities
Then, students learn about the brightness of stars through investigations and research. Today, I open the lesson by introducing the word luminosity and showing students a video that compares star sizes. Students then label, take notes, and make observations on the Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram. Students also explore the relationships between star brightness, distance, and size by conducting a flashlight investigation. At the end of the lesson, students reflect and apply their new understanding of star brightness by writing an explanation.
Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from Earth. Students use a video, analogies, diagram, and flashlights to analyze the brightness, distance, size and temperature of stars. Students examine how closer stars can inaccurately appear to be brighter than stars that are located further away from the Earth. The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer.
Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth. To add depth to student understanding, when I can, I'll often integrate ELA standards with science lessons. In this lesson, students will construct an explanation about star brightness. With science, it is often difficult to find a balance between providing students with as many hands-on experiences as possible, having plenty of science materials, and offering students a collaborative setting to solve problems.
Any time groups have four or more students, the opportunities for individual students to speak and take part in the exploration process decreases. With groups of two, I often struggle to find enough science materials to go around. So this year, I chose to place students in teams of two or three! Picking science teams is always easy as I already have students placed in desk groups based upon behavior, abilities, and communication skills.
An Interactive and Engaging Solution to the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
Each desk group has about six kids, so I simply divide this larger group in half or thirds. To encourage a smooth running classroom, I ask students to decide who is a 1, 2, or 3 in their groups of three students without talking.
In no time, each student has a number in the air. I'll then ask the "threes" to get certain supplies, "ones" to grab their computers, and "twos" to hand out papers or whatever is needed for the lesson.
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This management strategy has proven to be effective when cleaning up and returning supplies as well! During today's lesson, students will be working in teams of two students elbow partners. Each team of students will have one laptop computer to share. While we have enough computers for all students, I have found that partners are more successful collaborators when they are sharing one device.
For the Sun and Earth's Patterns Unit, students are creating an envelope book to help organize new information and to support an inquiry approach during the learning process. During today's lesson, students will be working with the fourth envelope in their books.
As an opening to the lesson, I write the following vocabulary word on the board: luminosity. As students are ready, they share definitions out loud with the rest of the class.Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials. Are you getting the free resources, updates, and special offers we send out every week in our teacher newsletter? All Categories. Grade Level. Resource Type. Log In Join Us. View Wish List View Cart. Results for hr diagram worksheet Sort by: Relevance.
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Students begin with four input activities where they read articles, explore hands-on demos, research online, and watch videos all about the H-R Diagram. They then complete fou. ScienceAstronomyGeneral Science. LaboratoryPrintablesScience Centers.
Add to cart. Wish List. HR Diagram Search Activity. Use this activity to help students better understand the relationship of temperature and brightness on the HR diagram. Students will read the HR diagram and choose the star that the questions are describing. Attached at the end of the 2 page activity is the HR diagram to be used. Allow students to c.Find reading, diagrams, posters, activities and tests to enhance your units on animals, food webs, life cycles, plants, classification, anatomy and nutrition.
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