My curriculum unit, divided into five sections, is targeted at first grade explorers. It has been created to spark interest and enthusiasm among young learners in the study of the planets, our Sun and other stars, natural satellites and other components of our Solar System. Keeping in mind that (1) abstract concepts are often difficult for many children at this age [generally five through seven] and (2) the varying abilities of these children, several tactile, kinesthetic, visual and auditory activities have been included to bring the learning experience and subject matter to life. Objectives and Skills Focus are also highlighted, and lesson plans/related activities are presented in Discovery Through Related Activities question and answer format. This Science unit, to be presented over a five-week period, will integrate Math, Reading, Language Ads, Social Studies and Art (see Pacing Calendar, Appendix A).
It is my hope that OUR PLANET . . . OUR SOLAR SYSTEM will (1) encourage teachers to make astronomical studies an integral part of their lesson plan, (2) empower children to understand the awesomely wonderful interconnectedness between our planet and other celestial bodies, and (3) help our students recognize that planet Earth is a member of a much larger, universal family.