Lesson video

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Hi everybody, it's Miss Simkin back again for another science lesson about an extraordinary scientist.

The scientist that we're going to learn about today is somebody who is a woman of firsts.

Hmm, what do I mean by that? I mean she was the first woman to do lots of things.

Imagine being the very first person to do something.

I can't think of anything that somebody else hasn't already done.

It's very impressive.

So let's learn a little bit more about Caroline Herschel and which things she was able to do first.

So our lesson question today is who is Caroline Herschel? We're going to start with our star words then we are going to hear Caroline's story then we're going to map the story so draw a picture to help us remember it then we're going to tell the story.

And at the end of that lesson, there'll be a chance to see how much you can remember in the quiz.

You will need a piece of paper, a pencil and your brain.

If you don't have those things, can you pause the video and go and get them for me now please.

Great, we're almost ready, let's just wake up our brains.

Give it a gentle massage.

Now give it a shake.

Get the blood flowing and then , some deep breaths.

Okay, I feel ready.

Do you feel ready? Great, let's begin with our star words, star words, star words.

Your turn.

Brilliant, our star words today are astronomer, comet, salary and nebula.

Good job, let's talk about what those words mean.

So an astronomer is somebody who studies the universe and the objects within it.

So they might study the planets or the stars or galaxies.

A comet is something that you would find in the universe, you'd find it in space and it's made of ice and dust.

A salary is a regular payment for something.

So a regular payment of money when you have a job.

And a nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space.

So you can see there's a white cloud of gas and dust in that picture.

I'll show you a bigger picture later.

Let's start with Caroline Herschel story.

This is a picture of Caroline Herschel.

Now she was alive around 300 years ago.

So it's actually a painting because they didn't have photographs in that time.

Caroline Herschel was an astronomer.

She studied the universe and everything in it.

Caroline Herschel was born in Germany in 1750.

She contracted a disease called typhus when she was 10 years old.

How old was she, show me in your fingers? This disease stunted her growth.

It meant that she grew to be only one metre and three inches tall.

After her father died, Caroline became unhappy at home.

Her father had always encouraged her education and her learning but Caroline's mother wanted to stop her learning and only wanted Caroline to focus on taking care of the house.

So Caroline moved to England to join her brother William who was living there.

The two became inseparable and they were devoted to one another.

And Caroline quickly became involved with her brother's new obsession, telescopes and astronomy.

He taught her maths and science and she looked after him as he spent long hours grinding his telescope merits.

She helped him to record observations from his telescopes and then she did all of the calculations and the data.

William was very successful and he became the royal astronomer for King George.

When this happened, he gave Caroline a gift, he gave her own telescope.

Caroline worked hard and studied the night sky with her telescope.

And she became the first woman ever to discover a comet.

Over her life, she discovered seven more comets.

How many more comets did she discover over her life, show me in your fingers? That's right, seven.

Eventually she was given a salary as an assistant astronomer to William.

So that means that she was paid for the work that she was doing.

She was the first woman in history to be paid for her scientific work.

So that's another first she has.

So that means before Caroline Herschel, women were doing scientific work but they weren't being paid for it.

And Caroline was the first woman to be paid for her work working as a team.

William and Caroline Hershel increased the number of known nebulae.

These were the clouds we saw in space from 100 to 2,500.

She recorded her findings precisely and carefully by drawing all of the nebula and mapping them.

She catalogued every single discovery that her and William ever made.

And two of these catalogues are still used by astronomists today, that's how accurate they are.

Her work won her the British Royal Astronomical Societies gold medal in 1828.

And that is a very impressive story of Caroline Herschel.

Now I would like you please to get your pencil and your piece of paper ready because we are going to map the story.

That means we are going to draw a picture for each part of the story.

But before you do that, we're going to go through each part, we're going to recap it together and then I'm going to say pause the video and draw your picture so you'll draw one picture at a time.

So in the first part of our story, we learned that Caroline contracted typhus at the age of 10 and the disease stunted her growth.

And we learned that she learnt in Germany.

So what could you draw for that? What would help you remember that? Maybe you could use the picture on the board to draw a map and an arrow that says Germany or maybe you could draw a picture of Caroline being quite small because her growth was stunted.

Pause the video to draw your picture to help you remember now.

Great, in the next part of the story we learnt that Caroline moved from Germany to England to join her brother William.

So you can see the arrow should move to England and she became her brother's assistant.

What did Caroline do to help her brother? Can you say it to your screen? That's right, she became his assistant.

She helped him with his telescopes.

Can you now pause the video and draw a picture to help you remember this part of the story? Great, in part three of the story we learned that her brother became King George's astronomer and he gave Caroline a telescope.

She used this telescope to discover a comet.

And she discovered eight in total.

So she discovered her first comet and then she discovered seven more.

So she discovered eight comets over her lifetime.

What did Caroline discover? Tell your screen? Great, she discovered eight comets.

Can you pause the video and draw a picture to help you remember this section of the story? Pause the video now.


In the next part of the story, we learnt that she was given a salary and she was the first woman ever to be paid for her scientific work.

Can we all do a little celebration dance for that achievement? Show me yours.


What was Caroline the first woman in history to receive? Tell your screen.

That's right, she was the first woman to receive a salary.

Can you pause the video and draw a picture to help you remember this step of the story? Fantastic.

Then, in next part of the story, we learnt that her and William discovered and catalogued lots of nebulae.

So a nebula is one cloud, nebulae means lots of clouds.

Can you say that word with me, nebulae, great.

And they increased the number of known nebulae from 100 to 2,500.

How many nebulae did Caroline help discover? Tell your screen, that's right, 2,500.

Can you now pause the video and draw a picture to help you remember this part of the story? Great, and then in the last part of the story, we learned that Caroline kept catalogues of stars and nebulae.

She kept detailed lists of them all.

And for her work she won a medal.

Why did Caroline win the astronomical gold medal? Pause the video and tell your screen.

Yes, that's right because of her catalogues of stars and nebulae, good job.

Can you pause the video and draw your picture for this section of the story? Great, good job.

Now we are going to tell the story.

So I told the story to you at the beginning of the lesson and I hope you would agree that when I was telling the story I used a clear and loud voice.

I used expression in my voice.

So I changed my voice when something sad was happening like her being ill or her father dying.

And then I changed my voice when something exciting was happening like her being the first woman ever to do something and I also used gestures.

Gestures are like actions like this and they help add detail to your story.

So for example a comet or she had a lovely relationship with her brother, those are gestures.

So those are the things I want to you to try and do when you're telling the story.

You can use your story map to help you tell the story because you can look at the picture while you're telling it to remind you what's coming next.

You might need to practise a couple of times before you get it perfect.

Pause the video and have a go at telling your story now.

Great job.

You have worked really, really hard today.

I hope you enjoyed learning all about Caroline Herschel story and her impressive life.

If you'd like to, it might be a nice idea to go and tell somebody in your house the story of Caroline Herschel.

I bet they'd love to hear it especially now you've practised telling the story.

If you'd like you can also share your work with Oak National, maybe you want to send a picture of your story map or a video of you telling the story.

If you would like to do this, then please ask your parent or carer to share your work for you.

On Twitter by tagging @OakNational or hashtag learn with it.

You can also type @TeachSTeminism and then I will be able to see your work too.

Don't forget to do your end of lesson quiz before you go.

And most importantly, don't forget to have a fantastic rest of your day.

Thank you for working so hard and see you soon, bye.