Lesson Title: Math in Astronomy Grade level: Third

Lesson Title: Math in Astronomy
Discipline Focus: Math is used in more areas than Arithmetic!
Grade level: Third
Length of lesson: 50 minutes
Author: Annette Katich
Stage 1 – Desired Results
Content Standard(s):
MN Standard – Collect, organize, display, and interpret data. Use labels and a
variety of scales and units in displays.
MN Standard – use geometric attributes to describe and create shapes in various
Understanding (s)/goals
Essential Question(s):
Students will understand:
What might the data be like if the
How to think critically while interpreting
orbits were circles?
What other shape could the orbit
How to construct an ellipse using tacks and
Student objectives (outcomes):
Students will be able to:
Construct an ellipse.
Acknowledge mathematics’ existence in other fields.
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Performance Task(s):
Other Evidence:
Students will construct an ellipse with cork
board, tacks and string then measure the
ellipse by definition.
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities:
1. Via PowerPoint give a brief talk about Johannes Keppler as a
mathematician/astronomer. Discuss Tycho Brahe’s data and lead the class
through interpretation of data by asking what the data of the orbits would be like
if the orbits were circular and what other shape the orbits could be.(15 minutes
2. Show the students how to construct the ellipse.(5 minutes)
3. Give the students the materials and have them construct the ellipse then
measure to prove it is an ellipse.(20 minutes)
4. Conclusion – Class discussion in what other disciplines is mathematics found?