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Solar

System
Lesson Plan for Grade 3, English Language Arts
Prepared by Mary Madalyn Miller

OVERVIEW & PURPOSE


After The Students have had Lesson 1, Day 1 Planets in the Solar System Science, we will talk about
how we have learned about the Solar System through much research by NASA and their astronauts.
We will do an investigation ourselves to learn about the planets and what it would be like to travel
to them!
First, we will watch the Magic School Bus in Space Video to see what it would be like to travel
through space, and grab students attention in an overview.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1te-ILnNcs
Students will explore each planet in the solar system by travelling the solar system, and creating a
brochure to encourage others to share in their travel experience. Students will get in groups of
seven, and each student will choose to make a brochure on the planet of their choice: Mercury,
Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune to learn fun facts about the planets and the order of
the planets in the Solar System.

EDUCATION STANDARDS
1. Express data in a variety of ways by constructing illustrations, graphs, charts, tables,
concept maps, and oral and written explanations as appropriate (SI-E-A5) (SI-E-B4)
2. Identify, in order, the planets of the solar system (ESS-E-B1)
3. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information
clearly. (W.3.2)
a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when
useful to aiding comprehension.
4. Gather information and facts from digital sources (e.g. video, audio, images/ graphics)
(LAC.W.3b)


OBJECTIVES
1. The student will be able to identify the planets in order from the Sun.
2. The student will research and learn detailed information about one planet of their choosing
and present it in a visually pleasing, well-organized brochure with facts and pictures. They
will present their brochures in the order, as if one were travelling from the Sun outward.
3. The student will present their findings on their planet to their six group members, as if they
were the tour guides of their planet.

MATERIALS NEEDED
1. Computers or Internet Access
2. Printed Rubrics
3. Colored Printer
4. Printer Paper

ACTIVITY
Teacher Activity: Solar System Web quest
As an introduction, the teacher activity is a Solar System Web quest, where groups of three pretend
to be Astronauts for NASA. Using the websites provided, students will explore space and fill out a
Discovering the Solar System Worksheet on their planet. They will then write a general, creative
introduction paragraph about being a NASA Astronaut and their experience traveling in space, and
each group member will write a paragraph with facts about their planet from their Discovering the
Solar System Worksheet, and turn in one creative writing piece.
(See PowerPoint attached for Web quest)

Student Activity: Create a Brochure on a Planet of Your Choice
Students will be in groups of seven and decide which student is doing which planet, except for Mars,
as there is already an example brochure of Mars. Students will independently research from sites
they are given (see sites from Web Quest), and create a three-column brochure, using the brochure
templates in Microsoft Word. Students will include order of planet from the Sun, distance from the

Sun, Average Temperature of Planet, what the planet is known for, and at least three additional
facts. Students will be given 45 minutes of class time to work on their brochure and will finish the
brochure at home. Students will have 30 minutes at the beginning of class the next day to wrap up
things up. Once finished, students will print out six copies of their brochure, fold them, and pass
them out to the group members. The student will then present their brochure to their classmates.
This will give the students an opportunity to have facts about each of the planets in a unique format,
and an opportunity for me to assess the students learning and use of technology.

Example Brochure: Traveling to Mars
(See attached PDF)

ACCOMMODATIONS
Gifted: Gifted Students will be given additional information to include in brochure and will create
bibliography of sources used. Include average temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, and distances
in miles and kilometers.
Special Needs: Depending on circumstances, the student may create brochure by hand, work with a
partner to create brochure, write solely bullet points instead of full sentences, or present their
brochure in a different form.
Language: Students may make brochure in Native Language, and present it to the class in their
Native Language. Foreign Language Teacher may check brochure and/or student must take
brochure home and have parents grade Spelling and Vocabulary Portions of Rubric. Teacher will
grade Graphics/Pictures, Content, Organization, and Group Work. Language barriers will be taken
into account when grading group cooperation.

ASSESSMENT

Making a Brochure: Travelling the Solar System

CATEGORY
Graphics/
Pictures

Graphics go well with the Graphics go well with


text and there is a good
the text, but there are
mix of text and graphics. so many that they

2-3
Graphics go well
with the text, but
there are too few

1-0
Graphics do not go
with the
accompanying text

Student Includes at least


4 graphics.

distract from the text.


Student Includes 3
graphics.

and the brochure


seems "text-heavy".
Student includes 2
Graphics.

or appear to be
randomly chosen.
Student Includes 0-1
Graphics.

Writing -
Organization

Each section in the


brochure is organized
with titles: "Traveling to
____", "Fun Facts", and
Information about the
Characteristics and
Sights of the Planet.

Almost all sections of


the brochure have a
clear organization and
title

Most sections of the


brochure have a
organization and
title

Less than half of the


sections of the
brochure have a
clear beginning,
middle and end.

Content

Includes order of planet


from the Sun, distance
from the Sun, Average
Temperature of Planet,
what the planet is known
for, and at least three
additional facts.

Includes order of
planet from the Sun,
distance from the Sun,
Average Temperature
of Planet, what the
planet is known for,
and at least two
additional facts.

Includes order of
planet from the Sun,
distance from the
Sun, Average
Temperature of
Planet, what the
planet is known for,
and at least one
additional facts.

Includes order of
planet from the Sun,
distance from the
Sun, Average
Temperature of
Planet, what the
planet is known for,
but no additional
facts. If no facts
provided, student
will receive a 0.

Spelling &
Proofreading

No spelling errors
remain after one person
other than the typist
reads and corrects the
brochure.

No more than 1
spelling error remains
after one person other
than the typist reads
and corrects the
brochure.

No more than 3
spelling errors
remain after one
person other than
the typist reads and
corrects the
brochure.

Several spelling
errors in the
brochure.

Vocabulary

The authors correctly


use several new words
and define words
unfamiliar to the reader.

The authors correctly


use a few new words
and define words
unfamiliar to the
reader.

The authors try to


use some new
vocabulary, but may
use 1-2 words
incorrectly.

The authors do not


incorporate new
vocabulary.

Group Work

Student worked
exceptionally with
classmates in groups of
7, and listened to teacher
instruction. Each student
chose and created a
brochure for Mercury,
Venus, Earth, Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, and
Neptune, deciding on
their own who
researched each planet.

Student worked well


with classmates in
groups of 7 and
listened to teacher
instruction. Each
student chose and
created a brochure for
Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune,
deciding on their own
who researched each
planet.

Student worked
poorly with
classmates in
groups of 7, and did
not listen to teacher
instruction. Each
student chose and
created a brochure
for Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, and
Neptune, deciding
on their own who
researched each

Student worked
poorly with
classmates in groups
of 7, and did not
listen to instruction.
Not all planets were
covered in project.

planet.