Stars that are many times bigger than our Sun have a different life cycle than those which are smaller than the Sun. The forces involved with these stars are a lot bigger than in stars of a similar size to our own Sun. In this activity, students will create a narrative of the stages in a Massive star's life.
As an extension, have your students compare this life cycle with the life cycle of a star with a similar mass to that of our Sun. To make this activity easier, give the students the names of stages in the evolution of a massive star and have them put the stages in order.
|Massive Nebula||A nebula is a cloud of dust and gas that collapses under its own weight. As the cloud collapses, it gets warmer. When it reaches a certain temperature, nuclear fusion starts.|
|Massive Main Sequence Star||At this stage, the pressure from the nuclear fusion reactions are balanced by the force of gravity. The star will spend millions or billions of years in this stage, depending on its size.|
|Red Supergiant||When the nuclear fuel runs out, the star swells in size. As the star grows, the outer layers cool, giving the star a red color.|
|Supernova||The star’s core collapses, causing a violent explosion, and throwing the outer layers of the star into space.|
|Neutron Star or Black Hole||What is left after the explosion is a very dense core known as a neutron star. If the star is extremely big, a very dense neutron star known as a black hole could form. A black hole is an area of space where the gravity is so strong that even light can’t escape.|
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard to show the stages in the life of a star much bigger than our Sun.
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
All the stages in the star's lifecycle have been identified and put in the correct order.
Most of the stages in the star's lifecycle have been identified and and most are in the correct order.
Some of the stages in the star's lifecycle have been identified and and some are in the correct order.
Every stage has a correct and descriptive image.
Most stages have a correct and descriptive image.
Some stages have a correct and descriptive image.
All the stages have a clear description which contains good scientific vocabulary.
Most stages have a clear description.
Some stages have a clear description.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.