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Earth: A Planet and Its Friends. By: Alex, Kristin, Laura and Riyo. Illinois Learning Standard. Science GOAL 12 - STAGE D (Grades 3-5) Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.

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Earth a planet and its friends l.jpg

Earth: A Planet and Its Friends

By: Alex, Kristin, Laura

and Riyo

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Illinois Learning Standard

  • Science

    GOAL 12 - STAGE D (Grades 3-5)

    Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences

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Objectives – Students will be able to…

  • Recall the nine planets and list them in order starting with the planet closest to the sun

  • Recall two facts about each of the nine planets

  • Distinguish between asteroids, meteoroids, stars and comets

  • List the diameter of the earth and the distance from the sun

  • Describe key characteristics of the sun

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  • Comet = bright heavenly body that develops a cloudy tail as it moves in an orbit around the sun

  • Asteroid = one of thousands of small planets between Mars and Jupiter

  • Astronomy = the science of the heavenly bodies and of their sizes, motions, and composition

  • Planet = heavenly body other than a comet, asteroid, or satellite that travels in orbit around the sun

    Definitions found at

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  • Orbit = the path taken by one body circling around another body

  • Solar system = a star with the group of heavenly bodies that revolve around it

  • Satellite = a heavenly body orbiting another of larger size

  • Galaxy = one of billions of systems of stars, gas, and dust that make up the universe

    Definitions found at

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  • Incorporate small group activities

  • Give guided notes/outlines

  • Dictate questions and answers for a test orally

  • Use a peer buddy system

  • Give extra time for completing homework and tests

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More Accommodations

  • Use a word bank on the worksheets and tests

  • Use books on tape

  • Preferred seating

  • Use mnemonic devices

  • Use computer for writing assignments

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  • Test on main points only

  • Accept keyword responses instead of complete sentences

  • Test on only half the vocabulary words

  • Have a fewer number of questions on homework

  • Accept short writing assignments in place of essays

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Book: Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy

by: Stephen M. Pompea


DVD: Cosmic Voyage

by: IMAX


Visual: Large Inflatable Solar System

by: Ward’s Nature Science


Book: Solar System Teacher’s A-Z Resource Guide

by: Ward’s Nature Science


CD-ROM: Solar System on CD-ROM

by: Software


Teacher Resources

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Tips for Parents

  • Read books on the solar system with your children

  • Take your children to a local planetarium

  • Look at the stars at night and locate them with a star map

  • Subscribe to a space magazine for kids

  • Send the child to space camp

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Research Findings

  • McCann, W. S., & Sherman W. (2000). Science classrooms for students with special needs. Eric digests. Retrieved from: C_Digests/ed433185.html.

    This article touches upon effective inclusive climates, special needs within the science classroom, the preparation of an inclusive classroom, suggestions for adapting curriculum and assessment , and teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion.

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Research Findings

  • Haskell, D. H. (n. d.) Building bridges between science and special education: inclusion in the science classroom. Retrieved October 18th, 2004 from the University of Nevada, Reno website: ell.html.

    This article speaks of the importance of the science teacher’s role in providing for the diverse needs of students and the importance of the collaboration between science and special education teachers.

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Research Findings

  • Scruggs, T. E. (2004). Science for students with disabilities. Retrieved October 118th from the U.S. Department of Education website: athscience/scruggs.html.

    This article describes how science education is beneficial for students with disabilities and how it helps students with disabilities.

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  • Astronomical Society

  • National Space Science Data Center

  • Kennedy Space Center

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Assistive Technology

  • Adaptive computer software for viewing Solar System CD-ROMS

  • Books on tape

  • Electronic dictionary

  • Software for enlarging fonts on a computer screen

  • Tape recorder for recording


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  • NASA for Kids!!!

    This website contains space games, stories and activities that a student could either do at home or in the computer lab at school. They are easy to follow, and they are both informative and fun.

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  • Government-Recommended Space Sites for KIDS

    This site contains many links to other governmental, educational, commercial and organizational sites having to do with space. All the linked sites are aimed at kids.

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  • Have a Planet Project Due Soon?

    Contains numerous suggestions for activities a student can use for their project on the planets or universe in general. Students can also keep up to date on facts, current events, and view photos on the website.

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