TopicQuest

Exploring the Planets

designed by
Lannie Grant
for
 Second Grade


 


Come explore the exciting world of Planets.  Today we are going to take a trip into outer space to learn about the nine planets. Along the way we will be learning many exciting facts about the planets, the Sun, Earth and the Solar System. We will begin our journey at Seminole County Elementary School and travel as far away as Pluto. So come aboard and let's begin this exciting journey! Click on each link beside the Planet to begin your journey.



 
 
 
 
 

  1.   Each planet orbits around the sun. However, it takes some planets more time or less time to orbit around the sun compared to Earth years. Because of the length of each planet's orbit, you will be younger on some planets and older on others.  To find out how old you would be on Mercury in Earth years visit this web site.
 2. There is a planet in the Solar System that rotates backwards. Instead of the sun rising in the East and setting in the West as it does on Earth, the sun rises in the West and sets in the East on this planet.  This planet is also called the Morning and Evening Star. It is the first "star" you see at night. To find out this planet's name, check out this web site.
  3. Earth is the planet we live on. It is the only planet in the Solar System able to support life. It is the third planet from the Sun and is the fifth largest. To learn more interesting facts about the Planet Earth visit this link.
44. People weigh different weights on all the planets. To find out how much you weigh on Mars compared to what you weigh on Earth visit a class in Hawaii
  5. Jupiter is known for its Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is a storm on Jupiter. To find out how long this storm has been raging, visit the Great Red Spot.
  6. There are three planets that have rings around them. However, Saturn's rings are the brightest. Visit this web site to learn about the rings of Saturn.
  7. Earth only has one moon, but other planets have more and some do not have any. Visit this web site to find out how many moons orbit Uranus.
  8. Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun and is called the Blue Planet. It orbits the sun every 165 years. To find out how far it is from the sun click here.
  9. Pluto is the farthest planet from the Sun and is the only planet that has not been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. However between 1979 and 1999 another planet was the farthest from the Sun. To find out which planet was farthest from the Sun during this time visit Pluto. (Hint: The answer is at the bottom of the page.)
 10. The Sun is the closest star to the Earth and is the center of the Solar System. All nine planets orbit the Sun.  To find out more about the Sun, visit the Sun at this web site.

 
 
 
 
Exploration 1

Come join us as we take an exciting trip through the Solar System. We will begin our trip in the beautiful state of Florida at Cape Canaveral Air  Station. We will board our Space Shuttle and blast off into outer space. We will visit Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto! We will visit the Sun and the Earth's Moon! Listed below are the directions for this exciting trip! So grab a pencil and paper and be prepared to jot down some interesting facts about each planet as you visit. 

Steps:

1.  Pack your bags. This means make sure you have plenty of paper and pencils to write down the facts you learn.

2.  Click on the name of the planet above to answer the following questions: (only write the answer on a sheet of paper)

     a.  How long does it take Mercury to orbit the Sun?
     b.  How far is the Earth's distance from the Sun?
     c.  What was the planet Venus named for?
     d.  How long does it take Mars to go around the Sun?
     e.  How long is a day on Jupiter?
     f.  What two planets is Saturn located between?
     g.   Uranus' orbit is in the shape of an ellipse. What is an 
          ellipse?
     h.  Neptune's orbit around the sun is in the shape of a ______.
     i.  What is the furthest planet from the Sun?

3.  Draw a picture of your favorite planet and list some interesting facts that you think others might not know about the planet you choose.  (Remember to use the correct color if your planet is called by a color. )

QCC Objectives:

Science Standard 20:
Describes motion of Earth, moon and planets in our Solar System. Describes how the Earth rotates once a day and moon revolves around the Earth each month and how the planets revolve around the sun in a periodic manner. 

Technology Standard 3:
Demonstrates an understanding of the uses of technology and communications tools at home and in the community.

 


 

Grading Rubric for Exploration 1


Georgia QCC Objectives Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Score
 Second Grade Science
Standard 20
Describes motion of Earth, moon and planets in our Solar System. Describes how the Earth rotates once a day and moon revolves around the Earth each month and how the planets revolve around the sun in a periodic manner. 
Student is able to write a short sentence about each planet in our Solar System. Student is able to write a short paragraph about each planet in our Solar System. Student is able to write a short paragraph about the planets in our Solar System. and draw a picture of each planet.  
Technology
Standard 3
Demonstrates an understanding of the uses of technology and communications tools at home and in the community.
Student is able to use telecommunication tools and online resources. Student is able to use telecommunication tools and online resources to gather research.  Student is able to use telecommunication tools and online resources to gather research and write a short paragraph about what they research.  

 
 
Exploration 2

Now that you have explored the Solar System, you discovered many planets were made of gases and others were made of rock. However, only one is able to support living animals. This is our planet, Planet Earth. Mars is our closest neighbor in the Solar System. However,  scientist have not found any evidence of life on Mars. If you were able to visit Mars, what type of clothing would you have to wear? What type of food would you have to carry with you? Would you have to carry oxygen to breathe? Write a one-page summary about your visit to Mars. Think about the atmosphere, the temperature and the ground conditions as you write.

Steps:

1.  Visit the Mars link above.
2.  Write down all the facts you can about Mars.
     You will need them to write your summary.
3.  Write a one page summary about Mars.
4.  Write about the differences between Mars 
     and Earth. One such difference would be 
     your weight. Determine how much you would 
     weigh on Earth compared to what you would 
     weigh on Mars.

QCC objectives:

Science Standard 2:

Uses books and other media to obtain information related to science concepts.

Technology Standard 5:

Operates basic technology tools and applications.

Math Standard 44:

Uses a variety of methods and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, and paper and pencil.
 

Grading Rubric for Exploration 2


Georgia QCC Objectives Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Score
Science Objective
Standard 2

 Uses books and other media to obtain information related to science concepts.

The student will be able to write a brief summary about life on Mars. The student will be able to write a brief summary about life on Mars and be able to compare it to life on Earth. The student will be able to write a detailed summary about Mars, comparing it with Earth.  
Technology Objective
Standard  5

Demonstrates an understanding of the uses of technology and communications tools at home and in the community.

The student will be able to use technology to gather research. The student will be able to use technology to gather research and use it to write a brief summary. The student will be able to use technology to gather research and use it to write a detailed summary.  
Math Objective
Standard 44

Uses a variety of methods and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, and paper and pencil.

 

The student will be able to use mental computation, estimation and paper and pencil to determine his/her weight on Mars. The student will be able to use mental computation, estimation and paper and pencil to determine his/her weight on Mars and Earth. The student will be able to use mental computation, estimation, and paper and pencil to determine his/her weight on Mars and Earth, then write this difference in a detailed summary.  

 
 
 
If you want to know more about the Solar System, the nine planets and Earth visit the web sites below.
http://kidsastronomy.about.com/mbody.htm?once=true&

http://www.explorescience.com

http://www.funbrain.com/universe.html

http://www.sandlotscience.com

http://encarta.msn.com

http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/windows3.htm


 


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