Teacher Materials:

Objective: To learn about the objects in our Solar System, including the Sun, Planets, asteroids, comets, meteoroids, meteors, meteorites, and Kuiper Belt. Students will also learn that the Sun’s gravity holds the planets in orbit. As they proceed through this unit, students will work in groups to create a wiki page and an advertisement for one planet.

Lesson Plan:

Day 1 (Classroom Teacher)

Materials:
White paper
Markers
Scissors

Lesson:
Students will begin the lesson by making a foldable to help them identify what they already know, what you want to know, and what they learned about the solar system.


  • Before we read the chapter students need to write what they already know about the solar system under the Know? tab of their foldable.
  • Then they need to write questions about what they would like to know under the center Like to know? tab.
  • After the chapter has been read, the students will come back to write what they learned under the Learned? tab.

If needed by students:
Mini Lesson: Step 1, to make a foldable, fold a vertical sheet of paper from side to side. Make the front edge about 1.25 centimeters shorter than that back edge. Step 2, turn the paper lengthwise and fold into thirds. Step 3, Unfold and cut only the top layer along both folds to make three tabs. Step 4, Label the tabs: Know?, Like to know?, Learned? Example of a foldable is in the Student Performance page.

As a class, students and teacher discuss what they know about astronomy. Teacher needs to correct any information that is not correct. As a class then write a Like to Know page on a large flip chart. This way as the class progresses through the chapter we can refer back to these questions they want to know about. Make sure to label each page with the class period.


Day 2 (Classroom Teacher)

Materials:
Mac laptop cart
Student journals


Lesson:
Introduce the students to the Astronomy Pathfinder. Give the students time to explore through the pages. Walk around helping students if they have any questions or problems. As the teacher is walking around, project the pathfinder onto the whiteboard. After about 15 to 20 minutes, get the students attention onto the whiteboard. Then as a class go through the pathfinder explaining what each section is there to do, or how it is designed to help the students. Note: the students will want to watch the You Tube videos or listen to the songs in the audio/video page. It may be a little noisy.

Next show the students the GKB Planet Wikipedia home page to the class by projecting it onto the whiteboard. As a class, read through the home page. Before moving on re-read the questions in the third paragraph that describes features of the solar system. Have the students get out their journals and write the question that is the most interesting to them. Make sure they explain why that is so interesting to them. And have them write down 3 ideas of where they can get the information from? Is one kind of source more valuable than others? Why or why not? Walk around reading some of their journal entries and then discuss the most popular choices as a class.

Discuss what students came up with. Try to get them to honestly discuss the sources they chose and why. Make sure to mention Wikipedia is a good place to start, but may not be the best source to use for the entire project.

Day 3 (Classroom Teacher)

Materials:
Mac laptop cart
Student journals

Lesson:
As the students walk in the doors have the GKB Planet Wikipedia home page on the whiteboard. When the students sit down ask them to login to the laptops and go to the same site. This is the day the students will discover what the project entails. As a class read through The Task, The Process, and The Conclusion pages.

On the task page, the student’s first mission is list information from the five areas. Refer them back to the Astronomy pathfinder and the sources available to them. In discussing the second mission show them the examples of the comic strip, Voice Thread, and the songs in the description area. After showing each of them have the student’s brain storm what you could use each of these for?

Now the fun begins, within each class allow the students to choice partners for this project. No more than 2 per group though. Once they have picked who they want to work with, have them get out their student journals and begin thinking about their project. Ask them to determine which planet they want to research. They may want to pick out 2 just in case their first choice has been taken (remember only three groups per class can pick the same planet). Have them begin to list the information needed on their advertisement to make it appealing to people traveling. Are there any unique features that may draw the travelers to visit? Would these travelers need to bring any special equipment to breath, food to eat, outfit to wear, etc. The students need to begin collaborating on what is needed.

*As they leave for the day, remind them they can log onto the wiki space tomorrow to choose their planets. So be prompt to class tomorrow.*

Day 4 (Classroom Teacher/Media Specialist)

Materials:
Mac laptop cart
Student notebooks
Student zip drives

Lesson:

Allow students to login in the GKB Planet Wikipedia page to select their planets for the project. After that is finished, have them begin locating information from the Astronomy Pathfinder or other sources. Remember some of the sources are books from the media center, you will have to allow some students to go to access this information. (Remember to tell the media specialist and log out the time if needed) Remind students they need to keep track of the information and where they are finding it. They may want to cut and past the website next to the information they are finding so they can go back later to cite the source.

Email the media specialist to remind her that tomorrow your class is going there to work on citations. Ask her if she needs any help getting the materials around in the different stations.

Day 5 (Media Specialist)

Materials:
Citation practice worksheet
Source stations
MLA handouts

Lesson:
This lesson is lead by the media specialist in the library, teaching the importance of citations to prevent plagiarism from occurring. The media specialist and students discuss what plagiarism consists of and goes through several examples she has prepared.

She then shows the students two websites that could help them in remembering how to properly site information. The first is the Citation Machine.

If needed by students:
Mini Lesson: First go to the website. Once there decide which style of citation is needed. For this project it is MLA. Look at the left had side, demonstrate to the students by having this projected onto a whiteboard or overhead screen, and select the style needed. The next step is to select what type of format your source is from print or non-print. Choose book. If you read carefully enough, it says for one or more authors. Show the students if there is only one author you simple fill in the fields. However if there is more than one author you must now push the [+] button next to the word AUTHOR(S). Then fill in the fields that it asks for. Notice though that on multiple authors, after the first author students will need to list the first and last names in the same field (not separate fields).

She then shows the students the
Purdue Online Writing Lab. Here there are many styles of citations listed. She shows them how to find the section on MLA and how to use it. This site is a little difficult thought, so she refers the students to the MLA handouts (works cited page basic format, works cited page book, and works cited electronic sources). With these handouts the types of sources they will most likely use are listed.

Students now are sent to different source stations set up in the library. They have multiple sources at each station and the students are to complete the
citation practice worksheet.

Day 6-11 (Classroom Teacher/Media Specialist)

Materials:
Mac laptop cart
Student notebooks
Student zip drives

Lesson:
Students begin working through their inquiry project. Students need to keep good notes of where they got information in their notebooks, or save it to their zip drives. During this time the students will schedule 3 conferences with the teacher. The conferences will give the teacher a good feel on how the students are proceeding in their inquiry project. It will also give the teacher a chance to coach the students through any problems or teach them how to use some of the technology required in the project. This will also give the teacher a chance to ask the students question about their Wikipedia page design and how the information is coming together. Remember to ask them if they have already made a concept map. This may help them get their thoughts organized so that the page makes sense as it is read through. If the students are working on their persuasive summary item the teacher needs to remind them of the qualities of a persuasive paper. They need to include detailed examples, emotional appeals, and arranging them effectively by anticipating and answering reader concerns beforehand.

If needed by students:
Mini Lesson: Effective vs. ineffective advertisements. Students are to look through the newspaper and cut out examples of good and bad advertisements. In their journals they need to describe what made them good/bad advertisements. Next, have the students think about how they can make an advertisement for a planet? How are they going to get people to come see the planet? (Think about the reason why they want to go places on vacation and how this can be used in their advertisement) Also consider how to make it colorful, creative, and unique.

The media specialist will schedule one conference with the groups toward the end of these days to review their citations. She will remind them that they need a bibliography on their Wikispace and their summary item (if needed she will review the citation practice worksheet with the groups as well.)



Day 12-16 (Classroom Teacher/Media Specialist)

Materials:
Citation practice worksheet
Source stations
MLA handouts

Lesson:
Students will present their summary items to the class, classroom teacher, and media specialist during these four days. The classroom teacher and media specialist will work together to choose the best 3 advertisements from each class to be put on the school website and on the daily announcements for everyone to view.