CODE/MOE/UOIT Makerspaces Project

Lesson Plan--Grade 6 Science:

 Understanding Earth and Space Systems


Earth is a part of a large interrelated system.

Curriculum Expectations:

Overall Expectations

#2 Investigate characteristics of the systems of which the earth is a part and the relationship between the earth and the sun, and the moon

#3 Demonstrate an understanding of components of the systems of which the earth is a part, and explain the phenomena that result from the movement of different bodies in space

Specific Expectations

2.4 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including axis, tilt, rotation, revolution, planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, in oral and written communication

3.1 identify components of the solar system, including the sun, the earth, and other planets, natural satellites, comets, asteroids, and meteoroids, and describe their physical characteristics in qualitative terms

Learning Goals:

“We are learning to…”

Identify components of the solar system, including asteroids, meteoroids, planets and their characteristics.

Success Criteria:  

“We will be successful when…”

Student will be able to identify and differentiate objects, planets, asteroids, meteoroids and their characteristics

Lesson Overview:

Students take a tour of space using the Space disk with the View master tool and take a tour of the Solar System to get familiar with objects that are in the sky, looking at their form, movements and interrelationships.

Materials and Technology:  



National Geographic Viewmaster Kit - Space


Student Accommodations/Modifications:  

  • Time extensions (Makerspace open during all recesses for those that were absent or that require more time)
  • Shared google drives with teacher
  • Students who are not comfortable with standing in front of group can present via Google Classroom and teacher can display on whiteboard

Lesson will be differentiated by:

  • Content, specifically:  Template provided of key vocabulary words to some students, others provided opportunity to display the data obtained in their own format e.g. slideshow, model representation
  • Process, specifically: discussion facilitated by teacher, different opportunities to display knowledge
  • Product, specifically: students use virtual reality app and viewmasters,
  • Environment, specifically:  Student are able to take viewmasters to other areas in the school

MINDS ON:  Getting Started

During this phase, the teacher may:

• activate students’ prior knowledge;

• engage students by posing thought-provoking questions;

• gather diagnostic and/or formative assessment data through observation and questioning;

• discuss and clarify the task(s).

During this phase, students may:

• participate in discussions;

• propose strategies;

• question the teacher and their classmates;

• make connections to and reflect on prior learning.

Describe how you will introduce the learning activity to your students. What key questions will you ask?

  • What do you know about space?
  • What are the components of the solar system? Planets?
  • What is an asteroid? comet? meteoroid?
  • Create a list of space vocabulary.

How will you gather diagnostic or formative data about the student's’ current levels of understanding?

In an oral discussion and brainstorming on the whiteboard initial discussion will determine what we know, think and wonder about space.

How will students be grouped?

In pairs

 How will materials be distributed?

Each pair will have a chromebook and viewmaster

ACTION:  Working on it

During this phase, the teacher may:

• ask probing questions;

• clarify misconceptions, as needed, by redirecting students through questioning;

• answer students’ questions (but avoid providing a solution to the problem);

• observe and assess;

• encourage students to represent their thinking concretely and/or pictorially;

• encourage students to clarify ideas and to pose questions to other students.

During this phase, students may:

• represent their thinking (using numbers, pictures, words, manipulatives, actions, etc.);

• participate actively in whole group, small group, or independent settings;

• explain their thinking to the teacher and their classmates;

• explore and develop strategies and concepts.

Describe the task(s) in which your students will be engaged.

  • students will take a tour of space using the Space disk with the View Master tool and take a tour of the Solar System to get familiar with objects that are in the sky, looking at their form, movements and interrelationships
  • students will next be expected to collect and share information that they have gathered during their space tours, using the chart as a guideline.  They may choose to demonstrate their new knowledge in a variety of ways, subject to teacher approval.

What misconceptions or difficulties do you think they might experience?

Possibly get caught up in the virtual reality and not spend enough time completing chart

 How will they demonstrate their understanding of the concept?

Student will include on their google drives a picture to accompany each definition, in a unit test they will match the definition with the word

How will you gather your assessment data (e.g., checklist, anecdotal records)?

Students will submit a written document identifying each key vocabulary word and a definition

What extension activities will you provide?

  • Why is life in space a challenge for Humans?
  • What technologies exist now to allow us to overcome the challenges?

CONSOLIDATION:  Reflecting and Connecting

During this phase, the teacher may:

• bring students back together to share and analyse strategies;

• encourage students to explain a variety of learning strategies;

• ask students to defend their procedures and justify their answers;

• clarify misunderstandings;

• relate strategies and solutions to similar types of problems in order to help students generalize concepts;

• summarize the discussion and emphasize key points or concepts.

During this phase, students may:

• share their findings;

• use a variety of concrete, pictorial, and numerical representations to demonstrate their understandings;

• justify and explain their thinking;

• reflect on their learning.

How will you select the individual students or groups of students who are to share their work with the class (i.e., to demonstrate a variety of strategies, to show different types of representations, to illustrate a key concept)?

  • Student groups may wish to create a powerpoint, flash cards
  • Have one group each share a picture and define a specific vocabulary word

What key questions will you ask during the debriefing?

  • What are the main components of the solar system?

See appendix A

EARTH and SPACE SYSTEMS - Vocabulary and visual

*input vocabulary, information and visuals from your investigations and knowledge to complete the chart


Definition and characteristics




Solar system











St. Ambrose Catholic School—Huron Perth Catholic District School Board

Adapted from