Planet Research Project
This is a lesson plan where students write an informational paragraph about a planet and create a project in Apple Keynote with pictures, audio and labels about the facts they found researching a planet.
Third grade students will research to find facts about one of the 8 major planets or Pluto, write an informational paragraph about their planet and create a digital project showcasing their knowledge about their planet.
2 to 3 weeks
Lessons can be synchronous, asynchronous, face-to-face or virtual.
Background for Teachers
Before teaching this lesson:
- Teachers will need to collect resources or be familiar with appropriate websites for researching planets for third graders (See Utah's Online Library suggested link below).
- Teachers will need to have a knowledge of Apple Keynote or other digital resource for students to create their digital project.
- The following resources can help you teach this topic:
- Apple teacher learning center Apple Teacher Learning Center
- Search the following resources in Utah's Online Library for articles related to this lesson:
Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes
- Students will be able to research and find facts about a planet and organize those findings to share with others.
- Students will be able to organize their reserach into an information paragraph about their planet.
- Students will be able to create a digital project to showcase their research findings about their planet.
Step 2 - Planning Instruction
Student Background Knowledge
- Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of fact and opinion.
- Prior to this lesson, students will need to know how to organize an informational paragraph.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
A Keynote template could already be set up so that the students could just enter their planet information. Students could also be grouped in pairs or students could work with an aid to research and find information. Students could also be given a scafolded graphic organizer for the informational paragraph with fill in the blank.
Step 3 - Instruction
- Students will choose one of the eight major planets or Pluto.
- Students will read a handout on their planet, check out books about their planet from the library and use the Utah Online Library resources below to collect facts about their planet.
- Students will fill out the graphic organizer about their planet. (See attached Planet Research Outline)
- Students will write an informational paragraph about their planet including topic and concluding sentences.
- Handouts for students to read about their planet. I used a solar system unit from Teachers Pay Teachers: Space, Solar Systems, Planets and Earth Primary Grades
- Planet Research Outline
- Example of a Keynote created about a planet: See the attachment below.
Step 4 - Assessments
The main assessment for this lesson will be using the rubric below at the end of the project. However, ongoing assessments during the project will be:
- Checking the informational paragraph with the Informative Writing Rubric.
- Graphic Organizer and Oral feedback as the students are gathering their research and filling out their Planet Research Outline.
- Student self-reflection on their own writing with the writing rubric and on their Keynote.
- Presentation of their project on the SMART board at the end of the project to the class.
Use the following Rubric to grade the finished project:
Keynote on Planet Rubric
|Name: _________________||Teacher: Jill Schill|
|Description: Creating a Keynote slide to share research facts about chosen planet.|
|MASTERY||PROFICIENT||APPROACHING PROFICIENT||BELOW PROFICIENT|
|Knowledge of planet facts||Knowledge of planet is evident throughout the project and information is correct and clear.||Knowledge of planet is evident in most of the project and most of the information is correct and clear.||Knowledge of planet is evident in some of the project and some of the information is correct and clear.||Knowledge of planet is not evident in the project and the information is mostly incorrect and not clear.|
|Organization||Label and audio correspond with the correct picture.||Most labels or audio correspond with the correct picture.||Some labels or audio correspond with the correct picture.||Labels or audio do not correspond.|
|Originality||The content and audio are original and inventive.||Most of the content and audio are original and inventive.||Some of the content, audio are original and inventive.||The content and audio are not original or inventive.|