Before you go on a vacation, you need to know about the place you’re going, right? You need to know what kind of weather to expect, what the accommodations are, what activities there are to do. Get students hooked on learning about the solar system by telling them they’re going to take a vacation to another planet.
Now, they need to learn about the planets. This could be research-based or whole class lecture or group work.
And once you’ve got them excited about the planets, have them pick the one that’s most interesting to them. Let them tell you why – is it the rings? Is it the moons? The storms or the thick atmosphere? Then, let them convince you to go there on vacation. Encourage them to use all the creativity they can – maybe there is a rollercoaster in the craters of Mercury or an excursion to Enceladus.
With this assessment, a teacher can see how well a student understands the characteristics of one planet. But, possibly more importantly, a teacher can measure how well a student can apply what they’ve learned about a planet to a new situation, which might be more revealing about the student’s skills. As an added bonus, this assessment adds in some core content standards as well 🙂
What do you think about this assessment? Would it work for your students?
As extra practice, try a magic picture reveal digital worksheet! As students get more answers correct, the pixels of the picture are revealed one by one. Very engaging, and easy to implement digitally! Watch a preview video of the solar system magic picture reveal digital worksheet here.