Welcome to a series of ten lessons on planet research! This set of lessons is part of a larger unit my district is implementing all about the topics of space and books with great word choice. My grade level completes a research report or project for each of our six thematic units. This happens to be the fifth research project my students are completing this year.
I loved completing these lessons because none of my students' reports came out the same - even those who researched the same planet! The design of this unit was inquiry-based, so students chose the direction of their report. Some were interested in the history of their planet - how it got its name, who discovered it, etc. Others wanted to know if there were features similar to Earth, or why their planet had so many moons.
I've included the Planet Research Packet in this section of my lesson on each day. I refer to page numbers as I walk you through each day of this series of lessons, however I left page numbers off, in case there were pages you didn't want to use. You may notice that my student samples vary slightly from the packet I've provided for you. I made changes to the packet as I noticed things that could be made better. I hope you and your astronomers find these resources helpful as you research planets! Thank you! (See Resource File: Planet Research Packet)
*Clipart in my lesson picture purchased from ScribbleGarden on Etsy
This is a continuation from yesterday's rough drafts.
Review: I quickly review the checklist on the rough draft page in our Planet Research Packet, outlining the skills of the standards our reports include. I also read through my sample about the planet Venus. I answer questions from my astronomers about the rough draft. (See Resource File: Teacher Rough Draft Sample)
Independent Work: The students get started very quickly today, to allow time to finish their rough drafts. (See Resource Files: Student Rough Drafts One and Two)
Review: We review our learning for today, discussing the importance of each step of the rough draft process. Taking time to debrief at the end of a lesson allows for review, reflection, and a time for questions. It is usually quick, but very meaningful. Reviews are a good way to reinforce the standards you're teaching, and remind students of the skill sets they are working on.
Peek at Tomorrow's Mission: I let my astronomers know that they'll be writing their final drafts during our next lesson tomorrow. We're almost there!
*Tip: If you can time your week, so that this is day is Friday, you'll have the weekend to edit your students' planet reports. Also, parent volunteers can be helpful, if trained, to help with editing students' work.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful if you're working on a space-themed unit.
Do We Wish Upon a Shooting Star, or Falling Rock?: This document is an informational passage that includes multiple choice, and other types of questions. My students need practice with these types of questions, including those with multiple answers, questions with Part A and Part B, and fill in the blank. I teach in Illinois, and our students will be taking the PARCC Assessment beginning next year. I hope these types of tasks will help prepare my students for these tests, as well as our end-of-unit assessments, and overall mastery of the standards. The focus of this assignment are standards RI3.1, RI3.4, and RI3.7. (See Resource File: Shooting Star, or Falling Rock MC Practice)