How Does the Sun's Magnetosphere Cause Aurora by Rachel Geiter

Project:     NASA Heliophysics Teacher-Developed Lessons

As a warm up activity, students will draw what they remember from the lesson How Does the Earth’s Magnetic Field Cause Aurora? about the Earth’s magnetosphere. The teacher will show different pictures of the Earth with its magnetic fields.

Teachers then go through a seven minute lecture about the ‘ingredients’ for solar wind.

Teachers can model with bubbles (solar flare: bubble doesn’t leave wand, coronal mass ejection (CME): bubble leaves, bigger bubble/bigger CME, or a bigger effect).

Students then go to an area of the room with information about an important ‘step’ to creating solar wind. They record information in their own words and draw one picture that explains the MOST important or interesting info for their group (using the Jigsaw method). After 5 minutes, they will return to their group and share what they learned.

Finally, students will be asked to create a kinesthetic memory aid for one of the five vocabulary words. Each group will do one, then students will share and pick one all students will use e.g., at the (next class the teacher will instruct all students on the different memory aids for each vocabulary word).

As an extension, students will make a solar wind wand, which they will use to make ‘solar wind’ (bubbles). They will practice different distances and sizes of bubbles.