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Jacob Schmudlach Professor Beisser Education 122 5/1/13

Solar System Unit Plan 4th Grade

Table of Contents Unit Rationale Content Standards Unit Goals & Lesson Titles Unit Description Bulletin Board & Explanation Summative Assessments References for Teachers and Students Revised Lesson Plans

Unit Rationale

The sun, moon and stars are all important objects in space that students need to think about. Along with that, there are all of the planets in our Solar System that are pretty popular in science today. In our unit we studied Solar Systems. We wanted to make sure we did something that was intriguing to the students, but very beneficial educationally as well. In our lesson plans we focused on the 8 planets, plus the sun. Through these lessons, students were able to work together and engage in deep discussion with many questions. The students studied ideas such as the movement in our system, life cycles of stars and the components of our solar system that make it so incredible. They were able to do this in a variety of ways. The students watched videos, they did internet research, they came up with their own ideas through class discussion, they wrote stories and they even created poster boards and presented in front of the whole class. The lesson plans all differed in some ways yet they all had some important components in common. They provided discussion, hands on work, social interaction, questioning and solving. The lessons were intended to never get redundant or lame. Through learning about our solar system the students got to bring up topics such as NASA and the movement of the sun and earth. These are important ideas that could definitely be brought up in the future. I feel the creativity of our lessons allowed students to stay motivated and engaged through our unit.

Content Standards

Students will understand and apply knowledge of the properties, movements and locations of objects in our solar system. Iowa Core CurriculumItemid=4563


Quadrant C We will now move into the stars in the solar system. What a star is and how it forms. Is the sun a star? Do they move? Relate things in our everyday life to the evolution of objects in our solar system.

Quadrant D Students will now move into the idea of gravity. What is gravity? They will begin to be more open minded towards astronauts and where they can go in space and why. What do they need? Why do they need it?

Quadrant A Students will start the unit by learning what is in our solar system. They will begin to recognize the planets as well as know the order they stand in.

Quadrant B Students will now work collaboratively based on their favorite planets. They will then begin to study more in depth on these planets, learning about structure and temperature and movements. They will then present to the class.

Unit Goals & Lesson Titles

1. Introduction to the Planets of our Solar System

Students will know what a solar system is and what it consists of. Students will know the order of the plants

2. Planets of our Solar System

After presented information, students will research specific planets and know how to present special characteristics of individual planets. Students will work collaboratively, stay on task and share ideas with each other in order to learn about all of the planets.

3. The stages of a star

Students will be able to identify the order and stages of a star. Students will be able to know the makeup of a star.

4. A Trip in Space
Students will know what an astronaut needs in order to live in space. Students will work cooperatively and present a visual to the class providing support for their ideas.

5. The Life of an Astronaut

Students will watch videos together on our solar system. Students will study the Life of an astronaut and then write a letter including at least 5 important characteristics of an astronaut.

Unit Description
There were many different goals for this lesson, but they all correlated to the Common Core standards. The standard states that the students must be able to learn the movements and locations of the objects in our solar system, but most importantly we wanted to make sure the students were able to apply their knowledge of all of the properties learned in this unit. They did this through writing stories, working together, giving presentations and even drawing pictures. The unit allowed for exploration of space, planets, stars and even earth. Many students are able to get many different things from the unit. This unit allows for a lot of differentiating to be done when necessary. For example, gifted students are always able to expand and gain knowledge in a topic through new ways of presenting and even research. Students that struggle a little bit are able to focus on some of the more obvious things in our solar system. The unit allowed students to work at whatever pace they felt comfortable without slowing the class down at all. The unit touched base on astronauts as well. Students were able to study astronauts in order to learn about our solar system. Things such as gravity and oxygen were big in these lessons. Those are two needs in our everyday life today. Students were able to focus on one specific unit in a large variety of ways. This keeps the class engaged and makes a positive learning environment.

Bulletin Board & Explanation

In the front of the classroom on the bulletin board, there will be a blank area with a background that looks like space. There will be a title at the top of that background labeled: Planet of the Month. Since our unit is on our Solar System and we are going to be learning all about the planets I thought it would be a good idea to take a little time every Monday morning at the beginning of the week to learn about the characteristics of each planet together as a class. For example, in my representation I used the planet Saturn. As a class, in the morning we will print out a picture of Saturn and we will talk about one important characteristic from that planet once a week. The next week we will talk about another important characteristic on that planet until the month is up. The bulletin board will always be up so the students can use it to help them anytime during the day. Once the month is up, we will move on to the next planet and post it up on the board. By the

end of this, the students will be a lot more familiar with the planets in our solar system. This will only take 10 minutes at the most on Monday mornings.

Summative Assessment
For our summative assessment we will have the students create a brochure. The students will be required to do this individually mainly because majority of the work done in our Solar System unit had been through collaboration. We want to make sure the students have retained majority of what they have learned and went over. Along with that, it allows us as teachers to see who really struggles through the unit and we can reflect on our unit as well, to see if we need to make changes on the next Solar System unit in a way that helps the students succeed and learn. There will be a rubric for the students to follow in order to create this brochure. Everything on the rubric will relate to what our objectives were during each lesson throughout the unit. Nothing should surprise the students. It will be things the students have went over before. On the back of the brochure the students will be required to fill out a reflection portion of their own. This will focus on what they

felt the positives and negatives were in the unit. What could be changed and what could be fixed? The students will be allowed to give their input on the unit. This will also help us figure out what needs to be taken out or fixed by the time we do the next unit. The rubric will go over these things: The order of the Individual Planets, 5 important characteristics of the main planet they studied, Stages of star formation, necessary materials humans need for space travel and correct grammar and information will be necessary for this rubric. The students will not be expected to finish in one day. They will be given 3 science periods to complete this and if students need more time, it will be designated to them later in the week. We want the students to concentrate and do a good job without feeling rushed.


http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/star_life/starlife_proto.html http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/3861.html http://science89.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/star_human.jpg http://rubistar.4teachers.org/- This website if great to use when in need of a rubric for student assessment. It saves a lot of time. http://www.planetfacts.net/ http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/index.cfm


http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm http://www.planetsforkids.org/ http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/ http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/ http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/explore/solar_system/resources/ websites.shtml