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Curriculum
Planets
Grade: 3-5
Subject(s): Earth and Space Science
Required products: Tool Factory Database
Materials
  • Tool Factory Database
  • Encyclopedia / Internet / Informational Text
  • Graphic Organizer (Level One, Two, or Blank)
  • Overview
    Students will create a database of the nine planets. Each student will select and research one planet. There will be five required fields: Name of Planet, Distance from the sun in kilometers, Length of year in Earth days, Diameter in kilometers, and Number of Moons. A picture of the planet will also be required and additional fields can be added, depending on the level of the students.
    Instructions
    1. Have students open Tool Factory Word Processor and open the document called “Graphic Organizer Level One or Two” (the level will depend on how much data you would like your students to collect and on the ability level of your students).
    2. Have the students use the Internet, encyclopedia or nonfiction text to collect information on their planet. The data can be typed onto the Graphic Organizer directly or a blank one can be printed for students to write on. Students should locate and save pictures of their planet to their hard drive for use in the follow-up activity.
    3. Once students complete their graphic organizers, have them print the document.
    4. Have students open Tool Factory Database and click on ‘Change a Database’. Open the ‘Planets’ database.
    5. Have students input the information from their graphic organizer into the database. If students need to add a field, they may do so in the ‘Add field’ mode.
    6. Once the students have completed all of the database fields, have them click on the second icon, ‘Layout Fields’. Here students can add a picture, change font type/size/color, alter background color, etc.
    7. After students have completed their Layout changes, have them click on the third icon, ‘Enter data’. Have students input all data into each field. You may want to model how to input the information in kilometers to make sure all of the students’ data is consistent.
    8. Have students save their work.
    Follow-up Activities
    Student Presentations
     Have students use the information from their databases to create a presentation or report on their planet. Make sure the presentations include lots of pictures and captions to support the text.
    Cross-Curriculum Ideas
    Graphing
     Convert the database information into a graph using Tool Factory Database. Compare and contrast information on each planet.
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • Graphic Organizer Level One
  • Graphic Organizer Level Two
  • Graphic Organizer (Blank)
  • Planet Database
  • Click images to enlarge