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Day 2, Morning Session

Out of this World Comprehension

Essential Question:
How does wonder lead to discovery?

LAFS.5.RI.3.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

SC.5.E.5.2. Recognize the major common characteristics of all planets and compare/contrast the properties of inner and outer planets.


TH: CR.1.1.5.a. Identify physical qualities that might reveal a character’s inner traits in the imagined world of a drama/theatre work.

BIG IDEA 5: Earth in Space & Time

Humans continue to explore Earth's place in space. Gravity and energy influence the formation of galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, stars, the Solar System, and Earth. Humankind's need to explore continues to lead to the development of knowledge and understanding of our Solar System.

Focus Standards

Building Community

This morning's Community Building activities included "Pass the Planet" a solar system ball game. In a large circle, starting with the sun, participants passed inflated planets adding each one in sequence.  They also played Freeze Dance while orbiting, rotating and revolving as planets. In addition to being fun and building connections, these exercises build background knowledge and foundational vocabulary!

Throughout the week participants visited the Inquiry Wall and moved their post-its from the previous day to the section that represents their current understanding.  "What have I learned?" "What were my misconconceptions?"

Inquiry Wall

Entering Text: Chalk Talk


Participants researched planets in groups at their tables using a Notecatcher (graphic organizer).  They were asked to choose either an inner or outer planet and find facts about each planet. 

Participants walked around and added what they knew about each planet to chart paper.

After conducting their research, participants returned to the Chalk Talk paper to add new information and learn from others.

ISN - Interactive Student Notebook

Next participants returned to their ISN (Interactive Student Notebooks) to record learnings using a Venn diagram to illustrate the similarities and differences of characteristics of inner versus outer planets.

Comprehending Text: Solar System Role Play

In the final step, participants were asked to create a style of movement that represented their planet. Is it big and slow, or small and fast? Is it dense and rocky, or huge and gaseous? Combining the movement with the path of each planet’s orbit, they added the movement to lines of dialogue they had written.

Using their Actor's Tools, participants explore the planets and put them in their bodies by creating a physical pose and one statement from their planet that describes a key characteristic.  They viewed a StoryBots video to prime them for the activity.

Creating Text: Postcards from another Planet

Participants created watercolor postcards from another planet using visual arts techniques learned in Monday's mapping exercise. They used  their quotes from the Planet Role Play performance task.  

Creating Text: Inner and Outer PlANET RAP BATTLE

Inner and Outer planets formed teams for this epic Planetary Rap Battle! Participants gathered in teams based on their respective positions in the solar system (are they innies or outies?). They discussed why they are different (and better!) than the other team. They then wrote rhyming couplets and shared out in the form of a (good natured) rap battle.

"[I was surprised] by the caliber and the professionalism of The Learning Alliance and fellow educators.  How powerful bringing in literacy can be to enrich understanding." - Teacher Comment

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