Relative Size ... Adapted from Scale the Universe #44

Article excerpt

by TOPS Learning Systems

Spark a lively discussion about the relative sizes of things!

1. Make a magnified copy of these tabs. (Tabs below are in correct order.)

2. Cut them apart, mix them up, and distribute one per student.

3. Ask students to identify their tabs: "I've got the moon!"

4. Have students arrange themselves in a line from smallest diameter to largest. (Don't rush in with answers!)

PROTON

OXYGENNUCLEUS

REDBLOODCELL

EYELASH (diameter)

PUPIL of your EYE"

IN ARM'S REACH

FERRIS WHEEL

METEORCRATER

(Arizona)

HUDSON BAY

OUR MOON

EARTH

JUPITER

MOON'S ORBIT

SUN

EARTH'S ORBIT

SOLAR SYSTEM

OORT CLOUD (limit of Sun's gravitational influence)

Our STAR NEIGHBORHOOD (perhaps 2000 light years)

MILKY WAY GALAXY

Our LOCAL GROUP of galaxies

VIRGO SUPERCLUSTER

OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE

[c] 2009 by TOPS Learning Systems. Photocopies permitted if this notice appears. All rights reserved.

OBJECTIVE

To qualitatively compare and sort distances, from subatomic to astronomic. To work cooperatively toward a more accurate understanding of how structures in the universe fit together.

DISCUSSION

Depending on academic level, some groups may need more discussion than others:

* An atom has a small, dense nucleus composed of neutrons and protons.

* All tabs can be imagined as spheres or circles where twice the radius equals the diameter. …