Third grade is wrapping up their research projects on the planets. We used Understanding by Design principles to create the project in collaboration with our 3rd grade teachers. The teachers were excited about the project and the opportunity for their students to do a big research project, learning note-taking skills, bibliography creation, and organizing facts into categories. Their enthusiasm was infectious! The students did a great job answering the essential question, "What makes your planet unique?" and keeping their facts relevant to that question.
Once the students had researched and organized their notes, they wrote scripts about the different ways their planets are unique. Their scripts could be a commercial, a travelogue, or a newscast which they then videotaped and showed to their classes. The students then gathered in groups with one representative of each planet and discussed why their planet should win a "SOLARS" award for each category. The SOLARS are loosely based on the Oscars, but the categories are: Speediest Planet, Most Beautiful Planet, Wildest Temperature, Strangest Atmosphere, Most Fascinating Moons, and Best Planet. Students voted after they discussed each category and why their planet should or shouldn't be up for the award. We can't wait to tally the votes and present the SOLARS awards next week at the presentation!