Lesson Plan

Hello, Space! A Solar System Project

Google Docs, Doink, ThingLink
Alissa D.
Technology coordinator
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to... 

  • communicate researched information about the solar system clearly and concisely
  • persuade the viewer to visit their selected planet
  • create a green screen video to present their persuasive argument 
  • create a dynamic ThingLink presentation to extend the learning of their audience
English Language Arts
Grades 4 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage Prior Knowledge

Activity: Conversing

"What do you know about the planets?" Have student groups create a KWL chart based upon this question. Students can have the option of doing so digitally or on paper. Alternatively, teachers could use chart paper for this discussion and brainstorm.  (approx. 10 minutes)

When students have had time to complete this, engage in a classroom discussion to identify common baseline knowledge and needs. ( approx. 10 minutes)

Student Instructions

With your group, list all you know and any questions you have about the solar system on the chart paper. These KWL charts will serve as our classroom basis for a project on the solar system. We will come together in about 10 minutes to share and discuss. 

2 Choosing a Planet and Research

Students will use the remainder of the class period to research basic facts on a chosen planet. Students will gather their information and images in a collaborative Google Doc. (approx. 30 minutes)

Student Instructions

Now that we see all that we know about the planets, your group will choose a single planet to focus upon. For the rest of the class period, you and your group will research that planet. Create a collaborative Google Doc to gather your information. Make sure to gather at least 1 Creative Commons image of your planet. National Geographic is a great place to start! 

3 Composing a Persuasive Paragraph

Activity: Other — Writing

Groups will use the information gathered to compose a persuasive paragraph trying to convince other students to visit their chosen planet. Students will engage in the writing process, including proofreading. 

Student Instructions

I want you and your team to persuade the rest of the class to visit your planet. What makes it unique? Why would anyone want to visit there? Be creative! Collaborative compose and proofread your work. 

4 Building a Green Screen video

Students will use the app Doink to create a green screen video (this lesson assumes students have prior knowledge of Doink or a separate lesson on the app would be conducted). Students would import an image (Creative Commons) of the planet into the app. Students would adjust the green screen measure as needed. One student will be the "travel agent" to appear on camera to record their persuasive paragraph, commercial style. Students would export the video to the Camera Roll/Photos upon completion

Student Instructions

With your team, you will record your green screen commercial. Remember to be persuasive. Bring you planet image into Doink and have your "travel agent" appear on camera. Record and edit as needed. Export your video to Photos when you've finished.

5 Pulling Together Resources

As students are recording their green screen, groups will work to create a ThingLink of images, information, and websites about their planet. (This lesson presumes prior knowledge of ThingLink or a separate lesson would be conducted). Upon completion of the ThingLink resources and video recording, students will add their video to the ThingLink.

Student Instructions

Using ThingLink, create a page for your planet. You will include images, facts, and awesome websites about your planet. When your green screen video is completed, it should be placed on the ThingLink as well. You team will present your information and video from the ThingLink platform!

6 Presentations

Activity: Presenting

Students will present their ThingLinks and Videos to the class. Another class can be invited to help "judge" the persuasive nature of the writing/videos.