The first steps to implementing this unit and to assure student success, is to introduce concepts that will help students set a plan of action. I always find out where everybody is in their knowledge of the Universe and their Solar System. Here I establish the objective that: Students will be able to use prior knowledge through the graphic organizer process, KWL to clarify and present: K = What they Know, from their prior knowledge base; W = What they Want to Know, usually generated by their brainstorming and questions; and L = What they Learned, after discussions, questions, observations and informational research of resources, i.e group work, computer programs, books, movies, learning trips, hands on experiences and other multi-sensory interactive experiences.
Lessons are presented with looking first at concepts of Cosmology, The beginning of the Universe. The purpose is to expose and allow children simple concrete experiences to understand Universal Expansion. The objectives are focused on students gaining a workable knowledge of the shape of the Universe and the vastness of space and the stars and their relative distances. Drawings, pictures, models, experiments and other hands on activities will be the vehicles by which objectives will be met.
Secondly, lessons are presented on the Solar System in which we live. The purpose is to relate to concepts presented and allow for concrete experiences to help students understand the Solar System in which they live. The objectives are focused on students use of prior knowledge and to gain a workable knowledge of the Sun and Planets, and their relative distances. A number of other concepts and objectives will be developed through students interests and investigations. Drawings, pictures, models, experiments, projects and a wide range of literature and technological research tools will be the vehicles for student mastery.
Students will create dictionaries as they come to words or terms they don’t know. This supports and motivates independent learning skills.