Establishing an understanding of scientific inquiry is essential for students to be able to comprehend the world around them. Scientific inquiry is a natural ability that children discover at an early age. However, as more complex concepts surround young learners they can enhance their skills to develop scientific ideas and to relate to how scientists think. The development of scientific inquiry will be the aim of my curriculum unit entitled "The Sun: Earth's Friend and Foe". In this unit, students will discover the sun's properties, as well as positive and negative effects it has on the earth.
This unit meets many of the New Haven science curriculum standards, but expands the usual themes covered by most science textbooks. While studying earth science is part of the curriculum, the primary focus is usually on the nine planets and the night sky. This unit will extend the students knowledge of earth and will include an additional component of the sun.
This unit is intended for fifth grade students, but could easily be modified to educate other grade levels. The students who will be participating in this unit directly are fifth grade students at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School. While the students in my classes range in ability, the first class is grouped as high mathematics students. Their mathematics curriculum is based on the sixth grade curriculum, but also includes fifth grade concepts. The other science class that I teach consists of students who are on an average mathematics level, but have an average to above average ability in language. Both classes have the same science curriculum but it is modified based on their strengths and weaknesses. All classes contain students with special needs who need modifications and additional help. They have full academic instruction in addition to a special art component. This curriculum coincides with the mission of Betsy Ross, because the fusion of arts and academics allows students to use a creative approach to problem solving.