Solar System Explorers
Show the “Solar System” video to the entire class, and then review the “Word Wall” together.
Students then choose to take the Easy Quiz or Hard Quiz (Online Version) independently if they have access to their own machines, or they can do this together as a class, and raise their hand when done to show the teacher their understanding of the video (i.e. 4/5). For any remaining time, students can explore the “Solar System” activities, such as “Write About It,” “Draw About It,” “Activity,” “Belly Up,” and/or “Game.” If students have access to a printer, they can print one of the above activities.
2 Direct Instructions
Create student accounts on newsela.com and assign them to read the article "NASA finds 3 new planets where life could exist." Then, display/put up the three questions on the board and have students answer them in complete sentences on looseleaf paper.
Students will read and discuss the article and answer the quiz questions:
1. What is Kepler and why is it important?
2. What does it mean if a planet is a "habitable zone"?
3. How does the Kepler spacecraft work?
3 guided practice
Introduce the website Wonderopolis and explain how to navigate the site to search for a wonder they are curious about related to the solar system.
Students will use the search tool with the keyword solar system and then choose a “wonder” based on their curiosity. After watching the video they will then work through the activities: Wonder Words / Word Challenge, Try it Out, and Test Your Knowledge.
4 independent practice
Assign partners/small groups and choose a planet for each team to explore. Facilitate learning by going around to each team and ask probing/guiding questions such as: How far is it from the Earth? How big is it? Does it have any moons? What is the weather like?, etc.
Go to Britannica ( http://school.eb.com/ ) online to research facts about their planet. Once teams have 5 interesting facts about their planet (size, gravity, distance from Earth, etc.), use Nasa Eyes to get a visual sense of the sheer size and breadth of the Solar System.
5 Wrap up
Guide students to create an illustration of the solar system topic with an audio recording explaining it. For kinder you can limit this to one page and illustration while for third grade you may choose to have them add pictures from the photo library on several pages.
Students open the app and draw a picture of the concept they are teaching to their classmates. They push the record button and describe the solar system idea.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Speaking & Listening
Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.