1. Before class, make copies of Photon Reading Article, Photon Writing questions, Photon Exit Slip and Student Activity, “Photons in the Radiative Zone: Which Way is Out?” If you have not already done so, makes copies of the Handout “Standard Model of the Sun” and Student Text, “Models in Science”.
(Note: The Photon Reading Article, The Standard Model of the Sun and the Models in Science could be shown on a Smart-Board/projection unit, discussed as a class, and eliminate the need for photocopies/handouts. The Writing Questions and the Exit Slip questions can be handed out individually or can also be shown on a Smart-Board/projection unit for students to copy, answer and turn-in.)
Before beginning Student Activity, group class into pairs and hand out the Photon Reading Article. Have students read the article and as a class, discuss the information contained in the article. This will serve as an engaging activity to introduce the students to the photon.
After reading the article, individually have students think of a way to physically demonstrate how a photon exits the sun (and write it down). Then have them turn to their partner and discuss their strategy (noting any similarities and potential difficulties with each strategy). This will require students to "dig deeper" into the material.
With the students still grouped into the same pairs, hand the first two pages (the instructions and the maze) of Student Activity “Photons in the Radiative Zone: Which Way is Out?” to each student or each pair of students. Instruct them to complete the maze in pencil, since they may wish to make more than one try to the problem. Tell them to follow the instructions at the top of the page. They should draw only straight lines until they run into a barrier. At this point, they should use a protractor to determine the angle at which the line away from the barrier should be drawn. The angle of reflection should equal the angle of incidence. Again, the line of reflection should be drawn using a straight edge. The goal of the assignment is to find a way out of the maze.
Ask one student in each group to record the problem-solving processes on the student activity sheet they used to work their way out of the maze. They should record whether or not the process was successful and why it was or was not. They may begin to wonder whether or not it is possible to work their way out of the maze. Assure them that there are a number of ways to do this.
When they have worked their way out of the maze (or you have called time), bring them back together for a general class discussion. Have each group report to the class the successful and unsuccessful problem-solving processes they tried as they completed the assignment.
Display the Photon Writing Questions and have the students individually complete the Photon Writing Assignment. (This can be extended as a homework assignment.)
After reading the article, please explain how scientists can say that the light we see from the sun is from the past.
If the statement that the light from the sun is from the past is true, how does this apply to the light we see from the universe?