Sun & Space Weather Teaching BoxThis Teaching Box will help your students learn to identify features of the Sun using images with "light" from different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many solar features play roles in the eruption of space weather "storms", so knowledge of these features is a prerequisite for understanding and predicting space weather events.

Teaching Boxes are collections of classroom-ready and standards-aligned activities, content, and multimedia that build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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UCAR Center for Science Education Teaching Boxes  are themed collections of classroom-ready educational resources to build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Resources highlighted within teaching boxes are from various science education programs and all have been vetted by the UCAR Center for Science Education team.

  • Topic: Sun & Space Weather
  • Level: Middle and high school
  • How to use this resource: Each tab correlates with a part of the scope and sequence for this topic and includes links to hands-on activities, background content, and multimedia resources. Select resources within each tab that are best suited for your students to meet the learning goals. (There are often more resources linked within each section than you will need.)

Note to Teachers:

This teaching box currently contains one tab, which has a lesson about the major features of the Sun. We will add more tabs to this teaching box in the coming months, addressing topics such as the sunspot cycle, space weather, and the impacts of solar variation on Earth's upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. The current Features of the Sun lesson focuses on identification of solar phenomena relevant to the space weather "storms" that will be featured in the forthcoming lessons.

Solar prominence in September 1999Features of the Sun

Goal: Students learn the major features and regions of the Sun, with special focus on features relevant to space weather "storms".

Activity: Students observe images of the Sun and describe and identify features in those images.

Science Education Standards:

  • NGSS Performance Expectations: MS-ESS1-3 (modified) Analyze and interpret data to understand features of the Sun.
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea: MS-ESS1.A: The Universe and its Stars
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns
  • CC.ELA/Literacy WHST.6-8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content