Friday, September 27, 2013

Pick a Planet

One project my students have always enjoyed is the solar system project we do each year.

They get to pick a planet.  Actually, sometimes I make them draw a planet out of a hat.  No matter how they end up with a particular planet, it's theirs to research.

They find out many things about their planet, from its surface features to its temperature, from its size to its orbit.  They collect their information and then the fun begins.  

Their goal is to persuade others to visit their planet.  They have to take the information they gathered and turn it into a tourism advertisement  There is a poster to make and a paragraph to write.  What is it that makes their planet so great?  

Is it cold?  Attract the winter sport loving type.

Is it mountainous?  Appeal to the adventurous type.

Is it's gravity less than Earth?  Tout your planet's weight-loss perks.

Let your students be creative.  Let their imaginations run wild!

Also included in the project is a timeline of space technology.  How has the space program changed?  Your students will learn about some of the inventions that have allowed us to explore further and further into space.

But is it worth it?  Are the risks worth the rewards?  Your students will read about the benefits of space travel and the risks involved.  They will then need to decide which side of the issue they are on and write a paragraph supporting their stance.  

A lively classroom debate will ensue as students speak for and against the risks of space exploration.

The project is organized into a single file folder.  All parts have a place and the end product is an easy to store, easily transported project.  I just love that about it!

Want to give this project a spin?  You can find it here at my TpT store.  It includes all the student pages, the timeline, debate reading, planet info sheet, grading rubric and answer key.

Enjoy your journey through space!

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