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Resource: National Geographic Theme Sets: Mercury and Saturn by Mary Kurkalang Where it can be found: Class sets may be found in the school library

The National Geographic Trade Books are definitely more thorough than many of the worksheet resources that the students at Lincoln Trail Elementary School have had in the past couple of years. Many of the teachers still work out of an old textbook that is still horribly outdated. All of the information is fairly up to date in these National Geographic Theme Sets. At least these books dont list Pluto as a planet still. I would use these books as an enhancement to the lesson because the Solar System book that the school uses has more general information versus the kind of information that would be needed to be used to become a planet master. These books discuss Mercury and Saturn in depth. At the same time, these books have different reading levels so that my lower leveled readers will be reading at the correct reading level without feeling too overwhelmed.

2. Resource: Reading A-Z Leveled Readers: Venus: Beauty and Beast; Mysterious Mars; Jupiters Secrets Revealed Where it can be found: http://www.readinga-z.com/guided/index.html

Like the National Geographic trade books, these books are more thorough in information. The planet master project that I have the students involved in requires that they get the following information from the books: planets name, position in the solar system, rotation, size, orbit, atmosphere, temperature, composition of planet, moons, and rings. The A-Z Leveled Readers books contain information about Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. These books are

aimed more towards my higher leveled readers. These books challenge the students with their advanced vocabulary words, complex ideas, and depth of information.

3. Resource: The Scale of the Universe by Carl Huang Where it can be found: http://htwins.net/scale2/

I think this website is a really cool resource. This website shows the size of objects in the universe relative to the size of objects that students know. For example, the size of Rhode Island is approximately the same size of the dwarf planet, Plutos moon, Nix. When students hear the size of many of the planets, moons, and stars, they can never fully wrap their head around exactly how big these objects are. This will help enhance my lessons for my visual learners because this way students can toggle back and forth between objects they know.

4. Resource: Orbiting Solar System Model Where it can be found: http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm

This website shows a simplified version of how the solar system orbits. The model shows the sun, the eight planets, the dwarf planet, the asteroid belt, and a comet. Each component of the solar system orbits at its own pace around the sun. However, it doesnt show how moons orbit around these planets. You can also click on every single component to learn more about each piece, just in case youre confused about what it may be. This would be a really neat way to enhance my lessons because it shows how every component moves through space. The planets may move in an ovular movement, whereas the comet moves in unpredictable ways. The model also shows that the planets do not move directly in the same circles; they do not

follow the lines that they initially start on. While they dont move directly on the line, they do not cross other lines either.

5. Resource: Planetary Posse Video and other Solar System Songs Where it can be found: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/video-view.cfm?Vid_ID=782

This resource shows several videos that have songs and acts that are inspired by the planets, orbits, the moon, meteors, and comets. On the Planetary Posse video, it shows a fun way for students to learn about some components of the solar system without having to read about every single one of the aspects.

6. Resource: 1.3 Million Earths can fit inside the sun poster Where it can be found: http://nineplanets.org/thesun.html

This resource shows the size of the sun relative to the size of the planets. On the right side, it shows the diameter, the orbit, and the mass of every single planet. On the opposite side, it shows the mass, diameter, and temperature of the sun. On the bottom of the poster, it shows the composite of the sun, how much energy it holds, and how much water is contained in the center of the sun. This would enhance the lesson about the sun because students would be able to see how big the sun is relative to the Earth, a planet that they are familiar with.

7. Resource: Build Your Own Space Mission Where it can be found: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/BuildMissionGame.cfm

This is an amazing resource for the students because the students get to interact and role play by being the actual space explorer. Students will get to customize the character so that it looks like them, and they feel more involved in this space exploration process. Students will also have the chance to learn about the different kinds of space exploration tools. They get a chance to choose between an orbiter and a rover. The students will get a chance to see the strengths and weaknesses of each of the tools. They get to see what exactly the tool will do and they get a chance to see real pictures from real rovers and orbiters instead of just reading about what will happen.

8. Resource: Discovery Education Streaming Videos Where it can be found: http://my.discoveryeducation.com/

These videos are wonderful resource for teachers. With a subscription, teachers can create a video playlist instead of constantly searching for the videos that you will need. These videos will enhance my teaching because the solar system is a very difficult concept to grasp. With these videos, students can see actual footage from space shuttles and orbiters; pictures that students wouldnt have access to on their own accord. Suddenly the solar system would no longer be an abstract concept, but a very concrete one.