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Wish You Were Here

Students send postcards from space to show their knowledge of other planets.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students choose a planet to visit and research what they may encounter on their way to the planet. Find out about the planet's atmosphere and terrain, and what it would be like to be there. Calculate how long they would be away on their journey to visit their planet. How would they feel about being gone so long and so far away?
    2. Students create a postcard describing what it's like to travel through space and see the planet they chose. Draw a line down the middle of white construction paper with Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils to separate the message side from the address. Students write a message detailing their observations and feelings in colored pencils to the left of the line. Address the postcard on the right side. Design a solar system postage stamp in the upper right corner.
    3. On the other side of the postcard, students use Crayola Metallic Crayons to draw a vivid scene they might see while traveling through space. One way to make a circular planet is to peel the wrapper from a crayon, then lay it flat on the paper. Grasp the crayon in the center and rotate it to create a fill-in circle. Add clouds and rings to make the planet look realistic. Fill in areas of the image with color to represent mountains, craters, and canyons.
    4. Use Crayola Scissors to cut a space vehicle from cardboard. Add twinkling, colorful designs with Crayola Markers, Metallic FX Crayons, and Crayola Washable Glitter Glue. Attach it to the planet image with Crayola School Glue. Add streaks of smoke and fire from the base of the spacecraft with glitter glue.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    SCI: Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: DK Eyewitness Books: Space Exploration by Carole Stott; The Best Book of Spaceships by Ian Graham; How Do You Burp in Space?: And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know by Susan E. Goodman

    Organize a field trip to a local planetarium. Prior to the trip, ask students to compose questions that they will work on answering while on the trip. Upon returning to the classroom, students post learning to a class blog. Additionally, have students create 'thank you' post cards to send to the planetarium that describe what it was like to 'travel' through space.

    Students work in small groups to create a series of postcards describing an adventure traveling to and visiting a selected planet in the solar system. Each post card should include several facts about either the travel adventure or the planetary visit.

    Student astronauts create a daily journal chronicling their adventures in space. Each entry should contain the daily events while a guest on another planet. Post students journals in the classroom for easy access.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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