Third Grade Planet Project
We are beginning to learn about our Solar System. For the next few months we will be focusing on all there is to know about the planets, the moon and creation. This is my favorite part of the year because the students get so excited about this subject! Take some time to sit with your child and explore the Internet for all there is to know about our Solar System. NASA has an excellent website with pictures and videos. Also, on clear nights, see if you can point out the different planets, moon, etc. that we can see without a telescope. Keep in mind that many websites, books, etc. take an evolutionist stance when it comes to the Solar System. At WOLCS we believe in creation as written in the Bible in Genesis 1.
The students will be given the opportunity to build a planet, do some research on it, make a poster and present it to the class. The following is what is expected from each student, including due dates. Due to lack of storage space, please DO NOT turn any of part of the project in early.
This is the biggest project of the year and will be worth points for almost every subject. There are due dates throughout the weeks in order to keep it manageable.
- Pick ONE planet: There are 8 to choose from. (Pluto is a dwarf planet and not one of the options that they can choose from) They will pick one and I will record it. I will be checking in with students periodically to see how the projects are coming along. Please make sure you check due dates. I need to know the name of the planet by Monday, November 25th. Once I have it recorded there will be no changing. This is to insure students get started and do not change several times and fall behind.
Model of Planet (50 possible points)
Once the planet is chosen, the student will be making a model of their planet. You can choose to use any materials you’d like. I have had students use foam, clay, soccer or other balls, play dough, all sorts of different materials have been used. BE CREATIVE! Try to make it as realistic as possible. The planet needs to have the following: (points will be taken off if any are missing)
1. Name of planet is labeled where it can be seen when displayed.
2. Any important physical features are labeled; ex: Jupiter’s red spot
3. Student’s name is ON the planet somewhere, so it can be easily identified.
Researching your planet: Display poster and typed paper.
1. Poster (50 points): Students will need to get a 3-fold poster board (usually find these at Office Depot or Staples) See example of board below. This way the board can stand on the student’s desk.
On this board, students need to have:
a. Pictures of their planet-- You need to have AT LEAST 4 pictures. If you can find more, great! They need to be in color.
b. Captions describing what the pictures are about. For example, you might have an up-close picture of Saturn’s rings, you need to explain that under the picture.
c. You will also have your research paper attached to your poster board. (a plastic protective sleeve works great-let me know if you need one)
d. Decorate your poster as you wish. Include any interesting and exciting pictures or facts you can find.
2. Research Paper (50 points): Students will need to research their planet either online or using books from the public library. This research paper will be displayed on the poster board. The paper needs to be AT LEAST one page (longer is fine), typed, 12 pt. font, double spaced. Staple, paste or tape a plastic protective sleeve to the board. Your paper can be easily slipped in and out for reading.
Please make sure to have topic sentences! Paragraph form. Do not just cut and paste from the internet. We will be discussing in class how to use 3x5 cards to organize their information. Here is some information to include in your paper:
1. Planet’s name
2. Size of planet in comparison to Earth
3. Distance from the Sun, distance from the Earth (in years is fine)
4. Are there any moons? What are their names?
5. Does the planet have rings? If so, what are the rings made of?
6. Is it an inner or outer planet?
7. What is the planet made of?
8. Have humans ever been there? Satellites? Etc?
9. Who discovered the planet and when was it discovered?
10. How did it get its name?
11. Any other interesting information that you would like to add.
12. Reference Page: Please attach a list of resources you used in your paper (websites, book titles, etc.)
Presentations: (40 points)
Finally, the students will need to present their projects to the class. This will be for a speaking/listening grade. I will be looking for the following:
1. Student speaks clearly and audibly. (10pts)
2. Student names the planet they have researched and the main points about their planet. (points listed above under “research”) (10pts)
3. Student has practiced speaking and does NOT just read the research paper back to us. Students may use 3x5 cards to make some notes and help them with their presentation. They will not be allowed to read their research paper, but they CAN bring the 3x5 cards to help them. (10pts)
4. Student is respectful and courteous when others are presenting. (10pts)
If you have any questions throughout this process, please do not hesitate to email or come in and speak to me. You are welcome to listen to your child present his/her project to the class. Each student will be given a day in which their project is due and they will present. We will do this over a 3 day period. ALL PROJECTS MUST BE IN BY THEIR ASSIGNED DUE DATE. Points will be taken off for late assignments. Projects will be displayed at Open House on Monday, January 28th. Please let your child do most of the work. I understand that parent help will be needed on certain things, but please limit it as much as possible. If you follow the assigned “due dates” or “check points”, it should not be difficult to complete on time.
Thank you for your support and please HAVE FUN!!!
**See attached pages for Checkpoints and Due Dates/Presentation dates:
The following are some suggested checkpoints to help you stay on track. This is not an assignment that can be done in one weekend. Remember this assignment will be a large percentage of their Science grade, as well as grades in Writing, Speaking and Listening. Most of these are just a guideline to help you, but there are a few where I will be checking and grading. You do not have to necessarily do the project in this order, this is just to help you. Put these dates on your calendar to keep you on track.
November 25th: Name of the planet you have chosen and parent signature is due.
December 4th: You should have decided on what kind of model you would like to build and begin collecting the pieces you will need to build your model.
**Begin looking for pictures to print for your poster board---in color
December 4th: Begin research on your planet. Keep a list of the sources where you found your information. Print any information you find interesting or write it on note cards.
Monday, December 16th: ***TEACHER CHECK IN DAY!! *** Students will meet with me to discuss where they are in the process of getting their project together. We will discuss what still needs to be done and answer and questions at that time. This will be worth 10pts. in Science. Grade will be based on how much they have done so far. If they are moving along and have started, they will get all 10 pts. Students should begin typing their research paper.
Monday, January 6th: Research paper should be completed by this date!!! (it is not due yet--please do NOT turn in) Begin your model!
Monday, January 13th: Poster board should be purchased and pictures should be attached. Board should be complete by this date!!
****TEACHER CHECK IN DAY**** 10 pts: I will check your progress thus far.
Monday, January 20st: Finishing touches. Your project is due in 2 days!!
January 22, 23, 24th: Projects are DUE!!!! Please see below as to what date your child’s project is due.
DUE DATES FOR PLANET PROJECTS
Projects are due and presentations will be done on the following dates. Due to lack of space to store our projects, please do not turn them in early. Thank you!!
Wednesday, January 22nd:
Thursday, January 23rd:
Friday, January 24th:
Please Sign and Return by November 25th
Planet you have chosen is: ________________________________________
I have read the packet and understand what is expected for this project:
*** Parent signature:________________________________________
*** Student signature:_______________________________________