Materials List: resource pictures of the Sun, Moon, and stars; resource literature; 12x18 art paper; Internet access
Place students in small groups and provide them with age-appropriate resource materials and pictures of the Sun, Moon, and stars. NASA resources can provide various source documents, data, and pictures. Have students discuss with partners what they know about objects in the sky and begin a small group KWL chart (view literacy strategy descriptions). This chart is divided into three sections. In the “K” section of the chart, the students record what they know or believe they know. In the “W” section of the chart, the students record what they would like to know or what they wonder about. The “L” section of the chart is completed at the end of the research to record what the students feel they have learned.
Have students fold a 12x18 piece of art paper in thirds. The students should label each section and record what they know in the “K” section and what they want to know or what they wonder about in the “W” section. The group should develop a question they would like to investigate and answer. Students and their partners will then investigate the major objects in the sky based on their own questions about these objects. Facilitate a discussion of the types of information the students may want to gather, such as size, shape, color, presence of an atmosphere, and production of heat and light. Allow students to conduct a data-mining expedition using resource books or on the Internet at pre-selected sites
Once students have completed their research, the “L” part of the KWL chart should be completed. Facilitate a discussion about the size comparison of the Sun, Moon, and stars. Students should understand that the Sun is larger than the Earth or the Moon and the Earth in larger than the Moon. Students are to complete a graphic organizer (view literacy strategy descriptions) of their choice to show the results of their research of the Sun, Moon, or stars. Examples of various graphic organizers can be viewed by doing a search for graphic organizers at the website listed below. Students can be given several options of graphic organizers selected by the teacher to use for their research. Students will chart meaningful research on 12x18 art paper using the graphic organizer selected. When research projects have been completed, the students can make presentations of the question they sought to answer and the results of their research. As students report on these major objects in the sky, they can compare what they now know to what they knew prior to their research.