Solar System WebQuest

Planet Walk Curriculum Resources


Planetary Vacation

Introduction
Task
Process
Resources
Evaluation
Conclusion
Extensions
Teacher Notes
 

Introduction:

You have been selected to help design a vacation package to one of the planets in Earth's solar system. You and your team will create a company that will put together a vacation package that can safely deliver your clients to your vacation destination. Your team consists of a rocket specialist, spacesuit designer, travel agent and astronomer.

 

Task:

Your company's goals include the following:

  • Research the planet, identify the challenges it presents to living things, and create solutions to overcome the challenges.

  • Produce a vacation package highlighting the special features of the planet.

  • Invent a spacesuit that meets the basic requirements for living things on your particular planet and is capable of enduring the trip.

  • Generate a travel brochure advertising the vacation in detail.

  • Design a rocket that has the ability to support life and special features that would enable it to complete the vacation.

  • Voyage to your planet if possible (Planet Walk field trip).

  • Present your vacation package to a group of investors interested in providing funding for your project.

  • Be prepared to answer any questions they may ask.

Process:

Group Work

1. Print one copy of the Project Profile and complete each section.

2. Take out a sheet of paper, and as a group, brainstorm the needs of living things. Print a copy of The Needs of Living Things Framework.

3. Investigate the General Sites found in the resource section. Once you have found a site that contains information about your planet complete The Needs of Living Things Framework.

4. Research the General Sites, print and complete the Physical Characteristics Form.

5. Using the Needs of Living Things Framework and the Physical Characteristics form, establish a list of challenges your planet presents. Brainstorm a list of solutions. Save these notes for future reference.

6. Based on your destination and the solutions you have proposed, discuss the special features you want to include in the vacation package. Be sure to take notes and save them for future reference.

Breakout Sessions

7. Print a copy of your job description: Astronomer, Travel Agent, Spacesuit Designer, or Rocket Specialist. Read the requirements carefully.

8. Go to the resource section and search under your topic being careful to take notes as needed.

9. Sketch a rough draft of your plan.

10. Occupational Conference: At this point you will attend a meeting with others who share your occupation. The purpose of this meeting is to compare notes, discuss challenges, and offer encouragement.

11. Company Meeting: Meet with the members of your group to update each other on your findings. Be sure your plan is flowing and that the work you are doing compliments that of the others in your group.

12. It is now time for you to focus and begin creating your final product. Refer your job description and the rubric to determine your progress. Maintain open communication with the rest of your Company to assure that your final project is a package and not separate products.

13. Company Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is to plan the presentation of your vacation package. Keep in mind that you will be presenting to a group of investors who are interested in funding your project. Your must persuade, inform, and sell them your idea.

14. Presentations. Be professional, speak in a clear voice, and use visual aides to help present your idea.

 

Resources

 

Sites for General Solar System Information

Sites for Astronomers

Sites for Travel Agents

Sites for Rocket Scientists

Sites for Space Suit Designers

 

Evaluation:

Rubric for Student Assessment

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Congratulations, your company is now in business! Write a summary addressing the following questions:

1. After listening to each group's proposal, which planet would you want to visit on vacation, and why?

2. What was the most interesting thing about your planet you learned?

3. What part of your project do your feel went well?

4. What could you or members of your group have done differently?

5. Offer advice to future students who may participate in the project.

Extensions:

1. Find out current news about space flight.

2. Space games.

 

Teacher Notes:

Grade Level: 5th - 8th Grade

General Information: This project was designed to be used as an activity during study of the solar system.

Students will be able to:

  • Study one planet in greater detail.
  • Use creative problem solving skills.
  • Develop reading comprehension of factual text through researching, recording, and consolitdating scientific information using technology.

Standards: Alaska State Education Standards and GLE's

Suggestions:

  1. Link the Planet WebQuest on the computer station in order that students can have easy access.
  2. Present the WebQuest to the students as a large group and emphasize that research information can be found using the Internet.
  3. Decide whether your students will choose their groups and planet or whether or not you will assign these.
  4. During research, it is important to monitor Internet access, provide navigation assistance and explain any unfamiliar scientific vocabulary. Also ensure that students know how to print selections.
  5. Make sure that you have printed out copies of the evaluation rubric to have on hand as the students do their work.
  6. After each presentation, encourage a comment and question time.
  7. Take digital photos of each group as they present.
  8. Review the order of the planets in the solar system by brainstorming an acrostic phrase, eg. My Very Eager Mother Just Sat Upon Nine Planets.
  9. If time allows, students can follow links suggested in the Extension Section of the Planet WebQuest for enrichment and further practice navigating on the Web.

 

 

Credits:

Web Quest Adapted from: Sunshine Goble

Rubric Created using: Rubistar