BEYOND PLANET EARTH is a hands-on, inquiry based unit that spans many curriculum areas in the classroom (ie, science, math, literature, art, etc.). This unit is intended for students with special needs between the ages of twelve and twenty-one. This unit can also be used with regular education primary classes from grades PreK to third grade. The methodology used in this unit is based on the premise that all students learn through actively participating in experiences that deal with discussion, wondering, questioning, experimenting, and examining ideas and concepts. In addition, this unit relies heavily on specific children's literature and experimentation to illustrate and reinforce specific areas of the curriculum. This is especially important in regards to the educational trend to use as much real literature in the classroom as possible.
BEYOND PLANET EARTH examines the solar system which includes the sun, planets, moons, stars, and Earth. In addition, the unit examines the properties of the sun and the moon; the differences between day and night; and the lunar phases. The unit is organized into section which includes goals and objectives; vocabulary; levels of difficulty; means of alternative assessments; sample lesson plans; annotated references; and a strategic plan for introducing and teaching astronomy content. The astronomy content includes facts and information regarding the solar system that the teacher will find useful as s/he prepares to teach the unit. BEYOND PLANET EARTH is a fun and exciting way to explore the solar system from your classroom.