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Lesson Plan 1: The Vast Universe

Our Galaxy, the Milky Way and our Solar System LESSON SUMMARY
This lesson plan is an introduction to our solar system. Students will be introduced to their galaxy and learn where our solar system is in it. They will use clay to model the galaxy and listen to a story by Dr. Seuss explaining the planets.

Grade Levels: 1-3 Educational Outcomes: 1) Students will learn about galaxies, stars, and our solar system. 2) Students will create a model of the solar system using clay. 3) Students will listen to a story about the planets. 4) Students will create their own story about the planets using technology. Estimated Time: 60 minutes Introductory Discussion: 5 minutes Activity 1: 5 minutes Story Telling: 10 minutes Sharing Models: 5 minutes Activity 2: 25 minutes Summary/Sharing : 10 minutes Materials: 1. PowerPoint/Computer 2. Book: Dr. Seuss' book by Tish, R. (1999). There's No Place Like Space: 3. 4. 5. 6.
All About Our Solar System (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library). New York, NY: Random House Books for Young Readers Playdoh- Small 2 inch ball for each child iPads with X software for creating songs, stories, etc. Download: Google Earth - Special Treat optional: Bite-size mini Milky Ways

California Science Content Standards Connections: Physical Science: Grade 2 1, 1a; Grade 3 - 2 Earth Science: Grade 3 4, 4a, 4c Investigation and Experimentation: Grade 1- 4a, 4d; Grade 3- 5 CCSS English Language Arts: Grades 1, 2, 3 - Reading Literature 1.2; Writing 2, 5, 6; Comprehension
and Collaboration 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 2, 2a, 3, 5; Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 5 Visual and Performing Arts Theatre: Grade 12.0,2.2, 4.0, 5.2; Grade 2- 2.0, 2.1, 4.0, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2; Grade 3- 2.0, 2.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2 Visual Arts - Grade 1 2.1, 2.3, 4.3; Grade 2- 4.1, 4.2; Grade 3- 5.2

Lesson Vocabulary
These are words and concepts that we will help students during this lesson.

Galaxy: a system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction. Milky Way: the galaxy containing our solar system; consists of millions of stars that can be seen as a soft band of light stretching across the night sky.

Orbit: the curved path of a celestial object or spacecraft around a star, planet, or moon Planet: a celestial body moving in an orbit around a star. Star: a fixed point of light in the night sky that is a large, remote body like the sun. Sun: the star around which the earth orbits.

Lesson Plan Vast Universe: Our Galaxy, the Milky Way and our Solar System
Introductory Discussion of the Night Sky and our Galaxy: 5 minutes
Presentation Slide One: Night Sky

Lead students in a discussion about the Night Sky. Have them share a time when they have seen the stars or the moon. Invite them to look up into the night sky when they go home. Share the pictures of the Night Sky, and the small faint dusty light, called the Galaxy.

Presentation Slide 2 : Hubble Image of distant galaxies (Let students know that Hubble is a telescope that takes images in space.)

Optional: Share pictures of Hubbles Ultra Deep field lots of galaxies

Presentation Slide 3 : Images of the Milky Way

Ask students if they know the name of our galaxy, The Milky Way. Show the picture of our galaxy and our place in it.

Activity 1: The Solar System: 5 minutes Pass out Playdoh Ask the students to mold the sun Ask the students if they know any other planets. Invite the students to finish their model while you read, Theres no Place like Space.
Presentation Slide 4 : The Solar System

Switch the image to the one of Our Solar System, in the power point. Read the book about the solar system out loud while students create their models. Ask students to share models with one another.

Read the Book by Dr. Seuss, Theres No Place like Space: 10 Minutes Ask if any of the students have read the book, or another book by Dr. Seuss.

Explain why you like Dr. Seuss books (rhyming words, making up words and characters, telling stories in a funny creative way this will help inspire them later to be silly and fun when they retell their stories about the planets, sun and solar system). Let students know they will be writing their own creative stories, poems, or songs, and they should listen closely for new and interesting ideas. Read the story. Stop to point out things that you find interesting. For instance, the planet Saturn is so light it could float on water and some planets have more than one moon.

Sharing models: 5 Minutes Walk around the room and comment on the student models This is a great time to share the students creativity and thoughtfulness during your reading.
Point out models that are creative, unique, some children may have picked up on the fact that some planets have rings, or that the earth has only one moon. Note any details that give the children direction about what makes a good listener and a good model. Use your iPad to document some of the models, you can use these later to liven up your classroom bulletin board to show off the unit on Space.

Time to Create a Story or Poem about the Solar System: 25 Minutes Break the students into working groups. This part of the lesson will turn the science information
into a creative language arts project. In this activity, ask the groups to think about what they have learned about the solar system. Explain that their project will be to tell a story, make up a poem or song to share what they thought was interesting about our solar system, our galaxy and the planets and stars. They can decide in their team what they would like to do. Have students brainstorm: write ideas on paper, draw pictures and use Playdoh to visualize their ideas. Give the students a time limit. Walk around the classroom, listen for the types of questions students have for one another, and listen for opportunities where you can help facilitate their progress. Another good technique to help everyone, is to point out things that are working, what the other groups are doing. Example: Team 1 is writing lots of ideas down on a paper, they are really listening to each others ideas; Team 4 is using colored pencils to draw some of the planets they remember from the story; Team X is coming up with a lot of words that rhyme with Sun, I wonder what they are going to do with all those words? Call time, and have them start rehearsing their presentations.

Applying technology: IMPORTANT NOTE: Depending on the level of experience the class has with technology, this may be a good place to stop, and resume with the technology portion as a Part two of this lesson. Things to consider:

1. 2. 3.

How often do the students use iPads for creative projects? Is the teacher is going to video tape the students or have them use an iPad app there may need to be more time added to the lesson. If students have not used iPads before, demonstrations of the apps they have available to use will be necessary, and more time will be needed to incorporate that into their project plan.

Sharing Work/Summary Discussion: 10 minutes Once the students have finished rehearsing their presentation, let them know that it is time to

If you are going to use your iPad to video tape students, practice with a group off to the side before starting so you can capture their creativity for use later. After all the presentations, remember to comment on their creativity. Optional- Candy bar moment. Ask students to raise their hand if they remember the name of our Galaxy. Then hand each student a Milky Way to take home.

Presentation Slide 3:

Show the picture of our galaxy and our place in it.

Applying Technology: What to do with all this creativity? Why not put the videos the students made onto your class bulletin board? How do you put a video on a bulletin board? With simple QR Codes.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Upload student videos onto This will give you a website URL for the video. Go to the website Select the website URL. Copy the website URL into the video bar. A QR code will be created. Print the QR code and post it onto your bulletin board.

Assessment Tool for this Lesson:

Rubric for group story, song or poem based on creativity, collaboration and generation of related ideas. (Appendix A)