Camp Internet's Global Gardening Studies are open to all Camp Expedition Teams. RAIN's Youth Technology Corps members are Expedition Team Leaders for Communities taking part.
Teacher Lesson Plans Interplanetary Christmas Objective: The student will read an article about other planets in our solar system and how conditions there would affect Santa's Christmas deliveries. The student will complete a "pro and con" chart using the information in the article. Materials: The students will need copies of the article [older kids version][younger kids version] and copies of the activity sheet. The following web links may also come in handy as sources of basic facts about the planets: The Nine Planets -- Pictures and facts about the all the planets and their moons.
Solar System Photo Gallery -- from the National Space Science Data Center Estimated Time: This activity will take about one class period of 45 to 50 minutes. Procedure: 1. Start off by asking students to predict what problems Santa might face if he had to start delivering gifts to space colonies. This should be a fun discussion. 2. Tell them that the article they are going to read is an imaginary interview with Santa by NASA scientists.
Divide the students into 8 groups or have various pairs work on different planets. Assign each group one planet and have them skim the article and report one key fact about their planet that would affect Santa's delivery system. 3. Distribute the Pro and Con sheet. Review the directions so that students will have a focus as they read. Read the article either as a class, in partners, or individually. 4. Discuss the reading. Some possible questions include: Which planet would be the best colony for Christmas celebrations in your opinion? Why? Which planet would be the worst? Why? What questions do you think the NASA scientists would have liked to ask? Are there any questions you would like to ask? Do you have any recommendations for Santa? 5. Have students look at their charts. Can anyone see how it was organized? With the students, complete the chart for the planet Mercury.
If they seem to understand, let them complete the chart independently. Discuss the results. Rationale: This is a fun way to review basic information about the planets in our solar system. The pre-reading activity promotes retention and motivation. The Pro and Con chart develops organizational thinking skills.