Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pluto & Beyond

I thought I would follow-up my "Horizon's First Picture of Pluto" post by sharing my PowerPoint of Pluto.

My students love learning about Pluto so I developed this 42 slide PowerPoint and loaded it with every picture NASA has to offer. It will probably be updated several times in the next year as we learn more about this tiny world. Until then, hear is a sampling of what my students have viewed.

Of course we have to learn a bit about Clyde Tombaugh. I have always wanted to have the students build small telescopes at this point, but the budget has not allowed for that yet. I do have 5 very small telescopes which they use to look at the mountains which are just outside the classroom door.

there are several slides on the basics of the planet. At the moment we only have an artist's rendition of the atmosphere, but with any luck we will soon have the real deal.

When this slide comes up, the students shout out (they just can't contain themselves) "If Pluto has so many moons then they should not have demoted it. It should still be a planet."

This is a glimpse of what my students see when they they are studying space. I use protopage as a webpage. Protopage collects all of my links in one place which makes it easier for students to find appropriate          kid-friendly information. Below you see just the Pluto sites that I want my students to explore. I also add pictures to help organize the information.

These three clips show my web-page where I have links to many kid-friendly space sites. I have students do further research on Pluto and then write a report. Since I used to teach 3rd grade I have an easier version of my paragraph writing. My 3rd graders used to create a space book with a paragraph on every planets. The first planets the students are guided through the note taking process and the writing of the paragraph. With each planet the students become more independent, so that by the time they reach Pluto, they are doing the note-taking and paragraph writing independently.

Now that I have moved on to 5th grade, I don't have time to hit every planet, but we hit a few. Rather than writing a paragraph, they write a 5 paragraph essay. On the slide above you will notice some of the information they may want to write about. These topics go with the other planets, so the students learn to keep the information somewhat consistent. To purchase Pluto at my TpT store, click HERE.

There are not a lot of things I can do that are hands-on. I know scientists are wondering about the different types of snow they may find on pluto, so this year we made snowflakes.
Crystal Snowflake Ornament
Click HERE to visit my TpT store and find out more about snowflakes.

Free Space Background
I don't have any freebies on Pluto yet, but I do have a FREE Space Background that you can grab HERE.

Just starting out in Space? Then grade a couple of freebies:

Mercury: Note-taking & Research Project

PowerPoint for the Sun ~ Note-taking and Research

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