Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Neb -u- la

Carson Ealy, Jr.
Gadsden County Schools


This lesson will allow students to conduct research on the life cycle of stars using the Internet.


The student gathers information from a variety of sources, including primary sources.

The student knows the size, temperature, age, and brightness of the Sun compared to some other stars in the Milky Way Galaxy (for example, white dwarfs, red giants).

The student knows that stars appear to be made of similar chemical elements, although they differ in age, size, temperature, and distance.


- Internet (one per student or rotating schedule for
each student to conduct research)
-Research questions( one question per student)


Copy the following research questions to give to each student:
1. Explain how the Stellar Brightness table is organized to determine these stars - Vegas, Canopus, Rigie Kentauras, Sirius and Arturus.
2. Explain who invented the magnitude scale and how the scale is read,
3. Discuss the life cycle of a star,
4. Compare the red dwarf and the white dwarf.
5. Discuss the two general types of Supernova.
6. Define "Black Hole."
7. Explain what will happen when photons try to escape though the star.
8. What is "helium flash?"
9. List facts about the main sequence of a life cycle.
10. Draw a model of a Giant Molecular Cloud.)
TEACHER NOTES :Answers to the research questions
1.( A.)Sirius,(B.) Canopus,( C.) Rigie Kentaurus, (D) Arcturus (E) Vega
2. Hipparchus, 1-brightest, to 6 the faintest.
3. the life of a star - Nebula, star, Red Giant, Red Dwarf, White Dwaft, Supernova, Neutron stars,Black hole,
4. Red dwarf is very cool,faint and small stars.White dwarf is very small hot star(last stage),
5. Type1- binary star system in which the
gas from one star falls on to a white dwaft,causing it to explode. Type II- Stars are ten times the
mass of the sun, which suffer runaway internal nuclear reactions at the end of their lives, leading
to explosion.Leaving black holes.
6. Blackhole are believed to form from massive stars at the
end of their life times. The gravitational pull in a black hole is so great nothing can escape from it not even light.
7. They are constantly colliding with atoms of hydrogen and rebounding in other directions. This creates a radiation pressure which keep the hydrogen moving around at high speeds.
8.Helium Flash is when lower massbegin helium fusion very rapidly causing a burst of energy.
9.Adult star,produce energy from nuclear reaction, fuse hydrogen to helium in the core, last about 10 billion years, phase is about 90%.
10. MUST SHOW CLOUDS particles, etc.


1. Tell students: In this activity we will learn about stars and their life cycle and historical facts about stellar brightness.

2.Organize students into cooperatives groups of 4/5 students.

3. Pass out to students the research questions and assign a specific question to each student within the cooperative groups.

4. Assign the weblinks they should use to conduct their research. (first class period) During the second class period students work in their cooperative groups to finalize their written report from what they have learned during the research. Give students the Websites listed in the Weblinks to use in researching.


This is a Performance assessment in which students will
assessed according to answers for each research question (answers found in the preparation)

2 checklist for Goal 3 mastery:
Information managers indicators: interacting
with electronic network-internet.

Cooperative workers indicators: perform task
as a group, motivate group to complete
task, accomplishing goal.

Resource managers indicators: proficient in
allocating time, conducting research,
developing a product


1.Have students construct models of planets and their physical properties using NASA websites, 2. Research
star myths from different cultures and develop a star
3. Research the types of galaxies.

Web Links

Web supplement for Neb -u- la

Web supplement for Neb -u- la

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