Other World, Other Life: Our Solar System and Beyond, by Roberta Mazzucco
Guide Entry to 96.06.07:
The unit “Other Worlds, Other Life: Our Solar System and Beyond,” is useful to teachers in grades two to five. The unit tries to base its ideas on a constructivist view of learning, in which students do research and gather information on what they want to know rather than having a teacher dispense it to them. In this case, students will research the Earth, Moon, Sun, planets, and the rest of the Universe. It is suggested that the unit run from five to six weeks, but that will vary according to time and the interest of the students. The unit suggests moving from what students are most familiar with namely, the Earth and proceeds to discuss the concept of life as we know it. Children then explore the relationship of the Earth to the Moon and Sun. The unit then expands out to the Solar System, showing how such seemingly simple things as gravity, size, and distance from the sun affected the formation of the planets, and limited all but the Earth as a home to human type life. Students are encouraged to complete a final project in which they create their own alien.