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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Journey Through Outer Space

Project URL:
http://teachnet-lab.org/ps101/space/space/solarsystem.htm

How it works:
Journey through Outer Space
was created to foster third-grade students' understanding of the relationships between the nine planets of the solar system and their different characteristics. This program is also great for fourth- and fifth-grade space explorers, who can follow the activities to complete their own solo missions. Learning about the planets isn't boring or tedious when made into a game. One way the students review their facts is by playing a game of Solar System Shuffle at StarChild, an online learning center for young astronomers. The children try to match the descriptions of objects to the correct image.

Standards addressed:  
This program enables students to understand the composition and structure of the universe and the Earth's place in it. They learn about the sun, moon, planets, and other objects that can be observed and described. They explore big ideas and unifying concepts, such as order and organization, and form and function.

Materials used:
A computer with Internet access and a word-processing program are required, as are CD-ROMs on the solar system.

The students:
This program should be started after initial lessons on the solar system have already begun. Journey Through Outer Space was created for a third-grade class of mixed-ability children, but can be used with children up to fifth grade. Teachers can modify the activities to suit their needs. For example, if you have a gifted class, this work will probably be done alone. However, if the ability level of your students is low, you can guide them through the activities or pair them with brighter students.

Overall value:
The solar system is a massive concept for children to understand.  The Internet brings these things to life and into their reach. This program allows children to express their knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways. The activities broaden the children's horizons and reinforce what has been already learned in class.
 
Tips: 
Give your class the background lessons they need in order to enjoy the activities and to fully benefit from them. This project is meant to enhance what has been learned from a textbook, not to replace it.  There are numerous sites on the Internet that cover the solar system, however you should stick with ones that match the reading ability of your class.
   

About the teacher:
Marion Peluso is a third-grade teacher at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn, New York. Mrs. Peluso has been involved with the Teachers Network for two years. She has taken the online courses for new teacher credit, as well as being the recipient of an Impact II grant. Mrs. Peluso received her master's in education this past May from CUNY at Brooklyn College.

E-mail:                              Cyder517@aol.com

Subject Areas:                                Science
English                        

Grade Levels: 
3-5
        

 

 

 

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