Grade two has been studying the solar system by first looking at our nearest neighbor, the moon. Through video recorded by NASA students discovered what real space is like and how they might reach and explore the moon. Students learned that what we see in movies is very different from real space travel. As they read more students recorded interesting facts onto charts posted throughout the classroom. Using these facts students wrote realistic fiction where they landed on and explored the moon just as real astronauts have done. They collected rock samples, took pictures, and solved problems.
Students then created two different models to demonstrate how the earth and moon orbit the sun. One model used three students acting as planets while the other model was made with paper and split pin fasteners. In their paper models many students chose to detail the sun with sunspots and the moon with craters.
Moving out further into our solar system students began to read text according to their Lexile reading level. As they studied this text they answered questions, completed graphic organizers and posted interesting facts for each planet.
In addition to reading teacher-prepared text students researched topics of their choosing. While some students researched constellations others decided to learn more about black holes and satellites. Student lead charts were posted on the walls allowing them to share their research with other students.
Using these notes students began to create a class bulletin board to share their learning with the entire school. Students colored the planets as they are seen in space. They then drafted and published descriptive text to be posted on the board.
After completing the bulletin board students will then begin writing about objects in our solar system.
Written By: Mr. David Gammill (Grade 2 Teacher)