Planet Journalism
A WebQuest for 3rd Grade (Science)
Designed by

Tina Ahmed
Ben Hinchman
Karen Ong
Jaclyn Vasko



external image solar-system.jpg

Introduction (Section 1 of the Quest)

To further explore the contents of outer space our class well be broken into groups of threes and each group will be assigned a planet of our solar system. With the assigned planet, each group will need to research and uncover facts that are particular to each planet. With the gained information each group will be required to write a news article describing their planet paired with a painting of their planet.



The Task (Section 2 of the Quest)
During this unit you will be researching a specific planet in teams of three. Within your groups, you will choose your roles.
Your main goal is to enlighten us on your planet. You will be investigating your planet through your assigned role in order to complete a group report.
Some of the things you will be researching are:

  • temperature
  • chemical make-up
  • distance from the sun
  • topography (mountains, valleys etc.)
  • size
  • color
  • order in the solar system
  • number of moons
  • life and atmosphere
After your group writes a planet report together you will each be painting a picture of your planet, which we share as a class during a gallery walk.



The Process (Section 3 of the Quest)
The online web resources are also listed here with a brief description of what they will find at that website, any specific places to go within the website, etc.
http://www.kidsastronomy.com/

http://www.sciencemonster.com/planets.html

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/index.cfm

1. You will be assigned to a group of three students. Each student will chose a role: Astrologer: Researches the size, color, distance from the sun, number of moons, and order of the planet in the solar system.
Questions: What is the size and color of the planet?
What is the distance of the planet from the sun?

What is the number of moons?
What is the position of your planet relative to the other planets?
Researcher: Collects data regarding the physical properties of the planet including temperature and chemical make-up.
Questions: What are the chemical components of your planet?
What is the temperature of your planet?

Voyager: Finds out the topography, life, and atmosphere of the planet.
Questions: What is the topography of the planet?
Is there any life on the planet? If so, what and how do you know?

What is the atmosphere like?
2. Individually explore the websites pertaining to your group’s assigned planet.
3. Work together to answers the questions on your planet.
4. Brainstorm ideas for the content and layout of your newspaper article.
5. Write your article and be sure to include the information you obtained from answering the questions regarding your planet.
6. Create a painting of your assigned planet and include it in your article with a caption.



Evaluation (Section 4 of the Quest)

Planet Journalism Rubric
Student Name:

CATEGORY
4
3
2
1
Knowledge Gained
All students in the group can accurately answer all questions related to a) stories in the newspaper and b) technical processes used to create the newspaper.
All students in the group can accurately answer most questions related to a) stories in the newspaper and b) technical processes used to create the newspaper.

Most students in the group can accurately answer most questions related to a) stories in the newspaper and b) technical processes used to create the newspaper.

Several students in the group appear to have little knowledge about the facts and the technical processes used for the newspaper.

Layout - Headlines & Captions
All articles have headlines that capture the reader's attention and accurately describe the content. All articles have a byline. All graphics have captions that adequately describe the people and action in the graphic.

All articles have headlines that accurately describe the content. All articles have a byline. All graphics have captions.

Most articles have headlines that accurately describe the content. All articles have a byline. Most graphics have captions.

Articles are missing bylines OR many articles do not have adequate headlines OR many graphics do not have captions.

Spelling and Proofreading
No spelling or grammar errors remain after one or more people (in addition to the typist) read and correct the newspaper.

No more than a couple of spelling or grammar errors remain after one or more people (in addition to the typist) read and correct the newspaper.

No more than 3 spelling or grammar errors remain after one or more people (in addition to the typist) read and correct the newspaper.
Several spelling or grammar errors remain in the final copy of the newspaper.

Articles - Purpose
90-100% of the articles establish a clear purpose in the lead paragraph and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic.

85-89% of the articles establish a clear purpose in the lead paragraph and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic.
75-84% of the articles establish a clear purpose in the lead paragraph and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic.

Less than 75% of the articles establish a clear purpose in the lead paragraph and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic.





Conclusion (Section 5 of the Quest)

By competing this assignment each group of students will have a deeper knowledge pertaining to their assigned planet, and a general understanding and available references regarding the other planets explored by their classmates. This lesson not only focuses on the study of science but it will develop students' skills with explicit texts/information, writing skills, artistic abilities, and oral presentation practices.

To further explore the mysteries of outer space please feel free to Sherlock Holmes the following sites, in section 6, and stretch your understanding and imagination through the world of science.




Credits & References (Section 6 of the Quest)
Special Thanks to:
Andrea Darmon and Dawn Bearden (1), for their space-based webquest designed for third graders and Monica Montes (2), for her webquest examples and links to online resources.

(1) http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/bowles/darmon/solarsystemwq/index.html
(2) http://questgarden.com/54/81/4/090804205040/
(3) http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level1/planets.html
(4) http://www.sciencemonster.com/planets.html
(5) http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/index.cfm
(6) http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm
(7) http://www.nineplanets.org/
(8) http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/our_solar_system/solar_system.html
(9) http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php?screen=CustomizeTemplate&bank_rubric_id=23&section_id=2&PHPSESSID=e4d4fc9c9dfec032f18db825d46b101f&PHPSESSID=e4d4fc9c9dfec032f18db825d46b101f