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Solar System Unit

Subjects:

Art, Language Arts, Science  

Grades:

5, 6  

Title – The Solar System
By – Helen Whitechurch – Argot Library of Educational Resources
Subject – science, art, language
Grade Level – Years 5 and 6
Solar System Unit Overview:
KLAs: English, Science and Technology and Creative Arts
Timeframe: 10 weeks
Literary Text Types: Review
Factual Text Types: Information Report and Procedure
This unit focuses on the Earth and its surroundings. The Earth is part of a changing system. In order to preserve life on Earth, there is a need to develop understanding of the Earth’s characteristics and how people interact with their environment. The content of this unit involves the solar system, planets, moons, asteroids, meteors, meteorites, comets, day and night, lunar cycles and the seasons.

 
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
The Solar System
a unit for Years 5 and 6

Unit Overview
KLAs: English, Science and Technology and Creative Arts Timeframe: 10 weeks
Literary Text Types: (This unit focuses on the hyper linked text types.) Narrative; Literary Recount; Observation; Literary Description; Personal Response; Review
Factual Text Types: Factual Description; Information Report; Procedure; Procedural Recount; Factual Recount; Explanation; Exposition; Discussion

This unit focuses on the Earth and its surroundings. The Earth is part of a changing system. In order to preserve life on Earth, there is a need to develop understanding of the Earth’s characteristics and how people interact with their environment. The content of this unit involves the solar system, planets, moons, asteroids, meteors, meteorites, comets, day and night, lunar cycles and the seasons.
Students have three major tasks to complete:

  • an independently constructed written information report about one planet in the Solar System
  • an independently constructed oral information report about the influence of the Sun or the Moon on life on Earth
  • a jointly construct a model, diorama or chart of the Solar System to use when presenting the oral information report
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English

Talking and Listening activities focus on building the skills of group negotiation and place clear emphasis on the presentation of oral information report. As well they support and develop topic vocabulary and field knowledge through communication activities such as barrier games.
Outcomes and Indicators
  • 3.1 Communicates effectively for a range of purposes and with a variety of audiences to express well-developed, well organized ideas dealing with more challenging topics.
    • students listen to and note key ideas and information from readings, documentary videos and multimedia presentations;
    • students explain to a group complex phenomenon using technical vocabulary.
  • 3.2 Interacts productively and with autonomy in pairs and groups of various sizes and composition, uses effective oral presentation skills and strategies and listens attentively.
    • Students listen to oral presentations and summarize main points;
    • students use a range of strategies to participate cooperatively in small group discussions, eg. taking turns, asking questions to gain more information, adding to the group’s ideas.
Go to Menu Oral Presentation and Group Work Assessment Rubric

English

Reading activities revise and build on information skills, using both written and screen-based texts and graphics.
Outcomes and Indicators
  • 3.6 Uses efficiently an integrated range of skills and strategies when reading and interpreting written texts
    • students gather, interpret and record relevant information resources from a wide variety of print and screen-based sources using several strategies:
      • skimming, scanning, using indexes, glossaries, table of contents, headings, captions, key words, search tools
    • students identify reference links and adverbial and adjectival phrases
  • 3.8 Identifies the text structure of more complex information reports and discusses how the characteristic grammatical features work to influence readers’ and viewers’ understanding of texts
    • students identify and explain the role of features such as chapters, sub-headings, paragraphs, captions, word chains and noun groups
    • students recognize mixed text types with more than one purpose
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English
Writing activities consolidate Information Reports and Procedures, focusing on purpose, structure, technical language and grammatical features.
Outcomes and Indicators
  • 3.10 Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar and punctuation to edit own writing
    • students use a variety of conjunctions and connectives to connect groups of words and clauses
    • students use abstract nouns related to the topic
  • 3.11 Spells most common words accurately and uses a range of strategies to spell unfamiliar words
    • students use a knowledge of word meanings as a spelling strategy
    • students use a knowledge of base words to interpret technical language
  • 3.12 Produces texts in a fluent and legible style and uses computer technology to present these in a variety of ways
    • students write fluently with appropriate size, slope and spacing
    • students create screen-based text that incorporates graphics and tables when appropriate
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Science and Technology
Knowledge and Understandings: The Earth and Its Surroundings
There are various parts to the physical environment: solar system, planets, Earth, moon, stars, asteroids, meteors, comets
  • students modify and apply their understanding in the light of their investigation
Learning Processes
  • students develop their knowledge and understanding of the process of investigation that people use to develop reliable insights into the natural and made environments
    • describe the process of investigation which can involve exploring and discovering phenomena and events, proposing explanations, initiating investigations, predicting outcomes, testing, modifying and applying understandings
Skills
  • students select and use a range of technologies
    • select appropriate tools, hardware, materials, equipment or software on the basis of their specific function and in order to gather information
Values and Attitudes towards science and technology
  • Students gain satisfaction in their efforts to investigate, design, construct and in using technology
    • students construct an information report on one of the planets using some form of computer-based technology in their investigation, planning or presentation
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Visual Arts
Making
  • Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likeness of things
  • makes artworks for other people assembling materials in a variety of ways
    • make a model, diorama or chart representing the solar system
Appreciating
  • Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks
  • Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks
    • investigate traditional and computer graphics showing graphical representations of the solar system
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Resources
Print material

  • A Book About Planets Betty Polisar Reigot (Scholastic)
  • Encyclopedia of Space and the Universe (DK)
  • The Gas Giants (Nelson)
  • Night Lights David Hill (The School Magazine May 1999)
  • Small Worlds (Nelson)
  • Sydney Observatory 1999 sky guide for
    the Sydney region and Eastern NSW
    (Sydney Observatory)
Videos

  • The Planets (BBC)
Internet

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Images from:   Astronomy Picture of the Day

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