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Exciting Lesson Plans for Your Classroom

Lesson Plans: K-3


Kindergarten: Constellations

Lesson Objective:
1. The students will be introduced to the origin of the stars they see at night.
2. They will learn that there are groups of stars called constellations.
3. The children will listen to books read by the teacher and then will be given the
opportunity to create their own "Constellation Creation."

Organization of Learners:
The students will individually create their own constellations.
They will be given the chance to tell the class a small story explaining their constellation.

Instructional Materials and Resources:
Microsoft Encarta 1995, Beyond Planet Earth CD-Rom,Space Age CD-Rom, "How the Stars Came to Be",
Pictures of Stars, Other Books About Stars, Black Construction Paper, Sticker Stars, White Chalk

Pre-preparation Needed:
1. The teacher will ask the children what they know about stars. Perhaps showing
the clip of the Lion King where they are discussing the origins of stars.
2. The children will then be introduced to the concept of stars.

Outline of Procedures:
What the Teacher Will Do:
1. The teacher will read the book, "How The Stars Came to Be" to the children.
2. They will then discuss where the stars came from. The children may ask questions as they think of them.
3. After reading the book and having a discussion the teacher will separate the children into groups that will
go to stations to complete the tasks of creating a constellation and using a CD-Rom to learn about stars and
other space issues.
4. The teacher will assist and supervise as needed. The stations should be setup and ready for the
children to begin work.

What the Children Will Do:
1. The children will listen to the story.
2. They will then take 10 star stickers and place them on their black construction paper.
3. Then they will take a piece of chalk and draw lines connecting the stars together, forming a constellation.
4. When they go to make up a name or title for the constellation suggest that it is similar to looking for objects in clouds.
5. There is no wrong answer.
6. At the other station, the computer will have a CD-Rom set up and ready for the children to explore various space topics,especially stars.
7. After completing both activities the children will return to the group and share their "Constellation Creation."

Evaluation of Children:
The children will be evaluated through the creation of their constellations and ability to work in groups on the computers.

Adaptations:
This activity should be easily accomplished by any child.
However, if anyone should need assistance the teacher will be available to assist.


First Grade: Paper Bag Books

Lesson Objective:
1. The students will become familiar with facts about the nine planets.
2. The students will learn the steps in the writing process and use them to write a paragraph about their planet.

Organization of Learners:
The students will be divided into groups of nine.

Instructional Materials and Resources:
book about space
crayons
small white paper bags
trade books about the nine planets
machine to put spiral bound books together
Internet site addresses: To The Stars And Back - http://www.angelfire.com/al/ToTheStarsAndBack
Reaching for the Planets - http://www.library.advanced.org/10591

Pre-Preparation needed:
1. The student should be able to gather information from books and the internet.
2. The student should be able to construct sentences and paragraphs.

Outline of Procedures
What the teacher will do:
1. The teacher will read a trade book about the planets and discuss with the students some characteristics of the nine planets.
2. The teacher will explain the procedures of the writing process.
3. The teacher will provide other trade books and internet sites for the students to research the planets.

What the students will do:
1. The students will research the planet that they are assigned in their groups using trade books and the internet.
2. The students will find facts about that planet that is unique to that planet.
3. The students will write a paragraph describing their planet without using the name of the planet in the paragraph.
4. The students will follow the procedures of the writing process in writing their paragraphs.
5. The students will put a book about the nine planets together in their groups. This will be done by writing their paragraphs about their planets on one side of the paper bag and writing the question, "Which Planet Am I?" at the end of the paragraph. Then the student will draw a picture of the planet on the other side of the bag with the name of the planet below it.
6. The students will present their books to the class.

Evaluation of Students:
The students will be evaluated on how well they follow the writing process in writing their paragraphs.
They will also be evaluated on how well they present their books to the class.

Adaptations:
To accommodate students with special needs, the teacher could place the student with a partner in order for the student to research a planet and write a paragraph about that planet.


Second Grade: Postcards from Pluto

Lesson Objective:
1. The student will name the nine planets and identify their order within the solar system.
2. The student will list and describe characteristics for each individual planet.
3. The student will use his imagination and writing skills to create a postcard and message from another planet.
Organization of Learners:
The students will be in a large group for the story, then work individually on their postcards.

Instructional Materials and Resources:
"Postcards from Pluto" by Loreen Leedy
dry erase board and markers or chalkboard and chalk
4X6 non-ruled index cards
crayons and markers

Pre-preparation Needed:
1. The student should have basic knowledge of the solar system.
2. The student should be able write a letter and draw a picture.
3. The student should be familiar with a newscast, as seen on television.

Outline of Procedures:
What the Teacher Will Do:
1. The teacher will draw the sun, moon, and the nine planets on the board in different colors, labeling each planet with as many characteristics as possible.
2. The teacher will have the students sit in front of the board. She will start a discussion about the different characteristics of the planets. She will read "Postcards from Pluto."
3. The teacher will instruct students to go back to their desks. She will pass out the index cards and give directions.
4. The teacher will give assistance as needed during the activity.

What the Children Will Do:
1. The students will join the teacher in the discussion of the planets and express what he already knows.
2. The students will listen to the reading of "Postcards from Pluto."
3. The students will take a 4X6 index card and draw their favorite planet on the front.
4. On the back, they will write a message home from their planet describing what it is like there.
5. The students will share their postcards with the class. The postcards can then be taken home or mailed.

Evaluation of Children:
The teacher will evaluate students' performance by observing their postcards. She will see their findings include basic information about that planet as well as creativity.
Adaptations:
To accomodate students with special needs the teacher may provide books and illustrations to help the children create their postcards. If there is further difficulty in completing the assignment, the teacher could work one-on-one with the child.

Third Grade: Video Newscasts

Lesson Objective:
1. The student will conduct research on a particular planet.
2. The student will create a newscast using information found.

Organization of Learners:
The students will work in pairs or in groups of three, depending on the size of the class.

Instructional Materials and Resources:
Video camera and cassettes
Space factbooks and informational books
Microsoft Encarta
Internet

Pre-preparation Needed:
1. The student should have basic knowledge of the solar system.
2. The student should be able to research a given subject.
3. The student should be familiar with a newscast, as seen on television.

Outline of Procedures:
What the Teacher Will Do:
1. The teacher will ask students to name the nine planets in our solar system. She will pass around books that contain pictures of the planets. She will pass around books that contain pictures of the planet. She will explain that each planet has very different characteristics. In order for us to learn about these characteristics, we will need to research. The teacher will ask students to name some different ways to research a subject. She will write these ideas on the board, as well as her own: Internet, books, Encarta, professionals in that field.
2. The teacher will explain that the students will work in pairs to research the nine planets. She will pair up students, and give a particular planet to each pair. She will tell students that they will find out as much as they can about their planet, then present it to the class. They will present in the form of a television newscast as though they are natives of that planet.
3. The teacher will assist students in their research over the next week. She will help them find information and help with costumes and scripts. She will video the newscast presentations, then replay them later for the parents.

What the Children Will Do:
1. The student will join the teacher in the discussion of the planets and express what he already knows.
2. The student will work with his partner to research thier planet. The workload will be evenly divided. The students will find information, make costumes out of everyday clothes or common items, and write a script for their newscast. They can choose a name for the newscast and a station channel as well.
3. The student will present their information to the class as though they are newspeople and natives of that planet.

Adaptations: To accomodate special needs students, the class would be grouped and arranged a little differently. Rather than both students working on finding facts and decorating the set equally, one student would do more research on written facts, while the special needs student would find pictures of the planet and decorate the set to match the pictures. Because both of these are necessary to the assignment, each would be making an important contribution to the project.

Evaluation of Children:
The teacher will evaluate students' performance by observing how well they are contributing to the partner/group work. She wil see their findings include basic information about that planet as well as interesting tidbits. The newscast presentation should also include creativity.


Third Grade: Planet Advertisements

Lesson Objective:
1. The student will conduct research on a particular planet.
2. The student will write a persuasive paragraph for a particular planet.

Organization of Learners:
The students may work individually or with a partner.

Instructional Materials and Resources:
Space factbooks and informational books
Microsoft Encarta
Internet

Pre-preparation Needed:
1. The student should have basic knowledge of the solar system.
2. The student should be able to research a given subject.
3. The student should be familiar with advertisements in magazines and newspapers.

Outline of Procedures:
What the Teacher Will Do:
1. The teacher will bring several written advertisements as found in magazines and newspapers. She will pass these among the students. What kinds of words do the advertisers use? Why do they use these words? They want you to invest in their product or visit their place of business. They are using persuasive language because they are trying to persuade you into buying or visiting.
2. The teacher will explain that each student will be given one planet to research. Some students may have the same planet. She will tell students that they will find out information about this planet, then write an advertisement for it, trying to persuade people to come visit this planet. The teacher will express that she wants these to contain facts, yet be very creative.
3. The teacher will assist students in their research and writing over the next few days.

What the Children Will Do:
1. The student will join the teacher in the discussion of the planets and persuasive paragraphs.
2. The student will find information about his planet and make an advertisement. He will choose words that would convince people to visit that planet.
3. The student will present their advertisements to the class.

Adaptations: The students will be paired heterogeneously so that a special needs student can work with a stronger student. They will help one another in finding information and pictures of that planet. The stronger student may do the actual writing, while the special needs student could do the artwork. They will also decide together how to make the paragraph creative and persuasive.

Evaluation of Children:
The teacher will evaluate students' performance by observing how well they are conducting research on that planet. She will see that their findings include basic information about that planet as well as interesting tidbits and creativity.

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Links to More Lesson Plans

SETI Institute Education Program - 3rd & 4th grade
Our Place in the Universe for Kindergarten
How Satellites See
The Library in the Sky
Exploring the Moon
Space Educator's Handbook
Solar System Adventure
Berit's Best Sites For Children:Space
Kid's Astronomy
Aerospace Navigator
Constellations
Astro Guide

Email: ttbulloc@samford.edu