Chasing Venus solar system

Teacher Resource Page

Smithsonian Institution Libraries

These exercises and lesson plans are designed to accompany and enrich the study and discussion of the June 2004 Transit of Venus.




Click on each Title for more details and the lesson plan.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Exhibition, March 2004 to January 2005, Smithsonian Institution Libraries Gallery, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
Smithsonian Institution Libraries Online Exhibition, March 2004 to January 2005,
Subject Area
 Two Views of the Universe  K-6 Science and Geography Students build two views (Aristotle's and Copernicus') of the universe and describe the differences.
 Collage of Geometric Shapes  K-5 Mathematics, Art Students identify different geometric shapes and use the differences in the building of collages
 Shadow Games  K-5 Science, Measurement Students discover how light source, object, and distance affect the shadow's shape.
 Silhouette Outlines  4-6 Science, Measurement, Art Students document how light source, object, and distance affect the shadow's shape by making silhouettes.
 Paper Plate Observation  4-6 Science, Measurement Students simulate the documentation of the Transit using paper plates and marking the path of the transit.
 Expedition Stories from the Transit of Venus  6-12 Science, Creative Writing, History, Geography Students write and role play stories based on the Transit of Venus expeditions
 Collecting and Using Data on the Common events  4-12 Science, Mathematics Students create data tables, collect the data and observe patterns
 Investigating Longitude and Latitude  4-6 Science, Measurement, Geography Students use longitude and latitude to determine locations of expedition sites and viewing sites for the 2004 Transit.
 Cardboard Tube Telescope  4-6 Science, Astronomy Students build telescopes from cardboard tubes that can be used to safely watch the Transit.
 Vocabulary Enrichment  7-9 English, Spelling Students learn the meaning and spelling of various terms associated with the Transit and use the terms in sentences.
 Using Means, Medians and Modes  4-9 Mathematics, Statistics Students calculate means, medians and modes for a series of observations and report conclusions.
 Using Triangulation  6-12 Mathematics, measurement Students use triangulation techniques to determine measurements.
 Measurement Conversion  3-8 Measurement Students identify common and uncommon measurements and build conversion tables.
 Expedition Diaries  7-9 History, Creative writing Students choose an expedition to research, form expedition teams, keep individual diaries and compare diaries at the end of simulated expedition.
 On the Shoulders of Giants  10-12 Science, history Students research the important astronomers and scientists and make presentations on their achievements.
 Putting the Transits in Context.  10-12 Science, history Students research the important events that were taking place during the major expeditions and make presentations on how they may have influenced the expeditionary teams.
 The Transit in Pictures  10-12 Science, art and media Students write screenplay and produce movie or animation of a transit including narration.
 And now a word from our sponsor . . .  10-12 Science, art and media Students write and produce public service commercials promoting the Transit of Venus and providing information about its safe viewing
Visit Spark!Lab, the hands on space for families and others interested in science and invention at the National Museum of American History.