In Unit 2, students delve more deeply into their study of the sun, moon, and stars, focusing specifically on observable patterns in the sky. In this unit, students pivot from reading narrative texts to reading informational texts that build their understanding of the patterns of the sun, moon, and stars. Through a combination of close read-alouds, focused read-alouds, hands-on experiences, authentic writing tasks, and small group discussions, students take on the role of astronomers and learn about these big ideas: The sun and moon appear in different places in the sky during different times of day and year; stars are visible during the night, but not during the day; and patterns of motion of objects in the sky can be described and predicted.
Throughout the unit, students engage in a predictable cycle of instructional activities that include reading a text, engaging in an interactive experience, writing as a class to synthesize understanding, writing independently to answer a specific question, and, finally, engaging in a small group conversation to discuss that question. Students are introduced to the Science Talk protocol and use it to share information and build onto others’ ideas. The Unit 2 Assessment is a final Science Talk during which students draw on their reading, note-taking, and discussing from the entire unit as they discuss the Unit 2 guiding question: “What patterns can we observe in the sky?” (SL.1.1a, SL.1.1b, and SL.1.4).