Duration
of Activity:
This
activity can be done in small sections over several days.
Student
Prerequisites:
Students should have a basic understanding of the Sun.
Whole class reading and independent reading will enrich background
information on this topic.
Materials:
 Butcher
paper
 Yellow,
orange, red and black tempera paint
 Pencil
or marker
 White
construction paper cut into 2inch x 4inch pieces for labels
 Tape
 Sponges
and brushes
 Halfinch
round Avery adhesive labels (blue)
 4
small pins with round heads to place across the halfinch
round label
Teacher
Preparation:
15 minutes to prepare paper for
painting the Sun. Outline a large circle with a diameter of
54.5 inches to represent the Sun for this activity. Allow
time to locate other materials and to copy work sheets if
doing the extension math activity.
Work
Sheets:
"How
Big the Sun?" Work Sheets 


"Greater Than," "Equal To" and "Less
Than" Printable Classroom Signs 


Need
help? 


Objectives:
Students
will:
 Draw
and paint a model of the Sun.
 Learn
that 109 Earths span the diameter of the Sun.
 Learn
that 4 Moons span the diameter of the Earth.
Grade
Level:
Grades 13
Procedure:
Day One
Language and Art Activity
 Students
take turns painting the Sun with yellow, red and orange
tempera. Start with the lightest paint for optimal effects.
You can save some time by starting with yellow butcher paper
and painting with red and orange tempera. Excellent images
of the Sun can be found at http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/images/
 Ask
students to name features of the Sun to include on the model
and write them on the board. The words below are a good
place to start:
Corona 
Moon 
Magnetic
Loop 
Solar
flare 
Earth 
Diameter 
Sunspot 
Prominence 
Gas 
 Let
painting dry overnight.
Day
Two
Language and Art Activity
 Continue
with painting. The granules of the Sun’s surface can
be achieved by sponging darker colors across the painting.
 Encourage
students to paint details such as sunspots, prominences,
and solar flares.
 After
completing painting, ask students to write vocabulary words
on the 2inch x 4inch labels.
 After
model has dried, cut it out and display on the wall.
 Students
take turns gluing the vocabulary labels to the Sun.
 The
model can be the focal point for your expanding “Science
Word Wall” with new vocabulary displayed around and
on the Sun.
Day
Three
Science and Math Activity
 Discuss
the enormous size of the Sun in contrast to the Earth and
the Moon.
 Ask
students to imagine that one round blue label is the Earth.
 Ask
a group of students to place the round labels across the
diameter of the Sun.
 After
placing the labels, ask students to count them in intervals
of ten.
 Mark
each group of ten.
 You
will find that approximately 109 Earths span the diameter
of the Sun.
 Explain
that it takes four Moons to cover the diameter of the Earth.
 Tell
students that one small pin represents the Moon. Ask
how many pins are needed to span the diameter of Earth.
 Place
four small pins with round white heads across the blue label.
 HINT:
Be sure to start the labels at the edge of your 54.5inch
circle—otherwise you may end up with more than 109
"Earths" spanning the diameter!
 "Signs"
for reinforcing the comparative sizes of the Sun, Earth
and Moon can be printed and displayed near your Sun model.
Extension
Activity:
This
model of comparative sizes provides a good opportunity for
discussing and practicing the mathematical concepts and symbols
representing "greater than," "less than,"
and "equal to." The student work sheets for this
lesson (at left) support classroom mathematics activities.
Assessment:
A wholeclass discussion of the
Sun and its size relative to the Earth and Moon can be started
with the following discussion questions:
 What
is bigger, the Earth or the Sun?
 How
many “Earths” does it take to cover the diameter
of the Sun?
 What
is bigger, the Earth or the Moon?
 How
many Moons does it take to cover the diameter of the Earth?
 How
many Moons do you think it will take to cover the Sun?
Extension:
This
model of comparative sizes provides a good opportunity for
discussing and practicing the mathematical concepts and symbols
representing “greater than,” “less than”
and “equal to.” The work sheet can be used to support
your classroom math activities.
Bibliography:
See
related books and websites.
