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Online Discovery – Astronomy Week Six Unit Wrap-Up Lesson Plan

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Date: 1992

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6


  • Science/Astronomy

Outcomes: You will to the best of your ability:

  • Communicate the results of your small group project to your classmates.
  • If possible, participate in a trip to a planetarium
  • Demonstrate mastery of the astronomy unit outcomes by successfully completing the unit assessment.
  • Introduction

    If possible, visit a planetarium, during this week. Area planetariums are located at Valley City State University, Valley City, ND; Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN; Museum of Man and Nature, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Minneapolis Planetarium, Minneapolis, MN.

    Share Individual and Group Projects

    During the Astronomy unit, you completed individual and group projects. If your teacher wishes, he or she will set aside classtime for you to report on your project to your other classmates. You may also share your projects with other students using the Skywatch Forum on SENDIT.

    Teacher’s Note

    A checklist to help evaluate the presentation of the project is provided in the Teacher Resource Book. Use of this form is completely optional. You may adapt it for use with either an oral class presentation or a presentation on SENDIT.

    Online Discovery – Astronomy Assessment

    Your teacher will place you in a group of four to five students. Imagine that your group is planning a trip to some place in space. This colossal undertaking will need to utilize technology (even at the imaginary level), money, much calculation, and planning. Because of the huge investment that such a trip will require it is important to select the site that will be the most beneficial for exploration. You will be asked to justify your choice of destination. You are to plan your trip taking into account as many factors as possible.

    Determine the length of time needed to reach your destination as this will affect the design of the spacecraft needed. How should it be designed?

    Another prime concern will be the health and safety of your crew. Mental heath will be another consideration for long flights.

    Remember to take into account the conditions of the landing site. What provisions will you need to explore the surface?

    Many of the problems you will encounter have not yet been solved with existing technology. You may imagine needed advances. Use your creativity and problem solving skills to plan this trip. You may present your plan in whatever format you desire to your teacher. (You should receive prior approval of the format from your teacher.)

    Teacher’s Note

    Some behaviors to watch for in the student groups follow. These can be put into used a chart as the form in the Teacher Resource Book or as a checklist for individual students. The group can be evaluated by the students within the group, the teacher, or by a group of peer observers.

  • Made a comment
  • Used facts to back ideas
  • Asked a good question
  • Asked another person’s opinion
  • Asked a question to better understand
  • Used a comparison
  • Recognized a contradiction
  • Identified an error in thinking
  • Made an analogy
  • Gave a summary
  • Contributed creative
  • Paid close attention to the group’s discussion
  • Was willing to compromise their ideas
  • Reinforced another group member’s ideas
  • A check list is also provided to help in evaluating the final project. You may want to provide the students with a copy before-hand so they know what you are looking at when you assess their projects.

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