Exploring the Planets in our Solar System

Introduction

Have you ever thought about traveling to outer space or to another planet? 

Our solar system consists of eight planets starting with Mercury being the closest to the sun, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. 

Today we are going to explore other planets, besides the one we call home. 

If you could travel to any planet, what would it be?

You will be researching one planet, of which, you will become an expert!

Task

To complete this Webquest, students will work in pairs. Each group will have its own planet to research! This way we can learn about all the planets, not just Mars. Your planet will be picked at random.

Once your group has their planet, you will work together to answer the following questions:

  1. What number is your planet from the Sun?
  2. What are its' neighboring planets? ( the planet before and the planet after, if it has one)
  3. How far away (distance) is your planet from the sun?
  4. Does the planet have rings?
  5. Does the planet have moons? If so, how many?
  6. Can your planet sustain (support) life?
  7. What is the planet made of?
  8. Describe the size of the planet.
  9. Add at least two facts that you thought were interesting about your particular planet.

After your group has answered the above questions, you are to make a model of your planet that  (one model per group).

The model should include: the questions, the answers to each question, and the other two facts.

This model will be presented to the class by your group, so be creative!

Process

Follow these links below to research your planet and find the answers to the questions listed in
the Task section.

You can also use the Information Texts on Space that will be provided by your class teacher (or found in the library!)

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/ 

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system

http://www.planetsforkids.org/ 

Step 1: Figure out what planet your group wants

Step 2: Research it and answer the questions NEATLY into both of your STEM books.

Step 3: Make your model. You can use any materials you can find in the stem room or classroom. 

Step 4: Present your model and information to the class. 

Step 5: Your model will now be hung in our 'Space corner at its relative distance to the sun'!

Evaluation

You will be provided with a marking Rubric so you know what Mrs Morris is looking for when grading your models and information!

Conclusion

Congratulations!

You are now an expert on your planet, which makes you an astronomer.

What is an astronomer, you ask? It is a scientist who studies stars, moons, planets, galaxies, and other objects in space. You do not actually have to travel to outer space to be an astronomer. New discoveries concerning space are being made everyday, right here on Earth. In a few decades from now, we might even be able to vacation on Mars!

Credits