Application Project Plan (APP) Planning Sheet

Nice additions. I am hoping you can have studets integrate their critical thinking/media analysis work into their research and presentations on the planets. Could they include informationin their presentations (research) on accurate and inaccurate information about their planets? Prhaps how scieific understanding of their planets have evaolved?

You should certainly be sharing resources and perhaps even working with Maria and Jamie.


Janet Wenner and Christy Gaddis

Tentative Title

Is it possible for human life to exist on other planets in our solar system or beyond? Evaluate the credibility of sources and distinguish between junk scinece and pure science.

Target Audience

5th graders

Brief Description

In Science with Christy: Students will investigate and evaluate the possibility of human life on other planets in our solar system. Students will investigate the basic requirements needed for survival of living things and contemplate the possibilty of sustaining life on other planets. Students will work in small groups to investigate statistics regarding the planets of the solar system and examine the elements that allow or prevent life from flourishing. The students will then be given a planet to research and develop a (powerpoint) to present the research and answer the question "Could human life be found here?"

In Library with Janet: Assist students with finding sources for research and deciding if source is credibile. Share Dangerous Water activity to encourage students to ask questions about sources and not just accepting something as truth. Develop a list of questions to use when determining if a source is credible. Use Youtube clips and decide if the clip comes from opinions, junk science, or pure science.

Curriculum Goals

  • How do you know if there is life on other planets?
  • Use mathematical analysis and scientific inquiry to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.
  • Develop student's vocabulary about astronomy and space exploration
  • Make accurate observations about the world around them
  • Identify living things
  • Identify the 6 life processes (characteristics of living things)
  • Identify needs of living things
  • Identify the planets within our solar system in order from the Sun
  • Identify elements of Earth that allow for life (atmoshphere (oxygen), environment (liquid water, temperature), gravity)
  • Identify what the atmosphere and environment are like on other planets of our solar system
  • Draw conclusions about how the planet they researched is similar or different to Earth
  • Understand that for any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Conduct research to answer questions about their planet

Media Literacy Goals

  • Respond to blog post appropriately
  • Getting all the facts before drawing conclusions.
  • Distinquish between pure science and junk science. How do we know when something has been proved? Remember that when an assumption is nearly universally accepted, that does not make it true (We used to believe that the world was flat)
  • Conduct research and answer questions when determining credibility of a source

Other Goals

  • Develop student's communication and discussion skills
  • Work effectively and productively in groups
  • Develop an effective powerpoint

Proposed Activities


  • (Before lesson)Comment on the classroom blog. How likely do you think it is for life to exist on other planets? Give reasons to support your ideas.

  • In small groups make a list of living things
  • Discuss their lists as a whole group
  • Review the 6 life processes (get energy, release energy, get rid of waste, grow, reproduce, respond to change
  • Discuss 3 major needs of livings things (water, food, oxygen)
  • Based on scientific evidence, could life exist on other planets in our solar system? What would the climate and environment on a planet need to be like for life to exist?
  • Use a PP to teach why life is able to flourish on Earth- focus on water, atmosphere, mass, gravity, distance from the sun
  • Put the students in groups and give them a planet in our solar system to research. Focus on water, atmosphere, mass, gravity, climate...Answer the cullminating question, judging by the basic needs of living things and your findings about the planet, Could human life be found here?"
  • In groups the students will develop a powerpoint to share their findings

  • What if life didn't need the things we think they do to live?
  • Why do you think scientists are unwilling to let go of their point of view and ideas that they spent years doing research?


  • Evaluate movie clip
  • Slide slow presentation

Evidence of life on Mars?
Ancient Astronauts-Giergia Tsoukalos-no supporting evidence, scientific facts
Water is dangerous
Explanatation of Goldilocks planets

A video clip from the British show Horizon. Uses a scientist to establish credibility, lots of cool images:

A clip from Carl Sagan's Cosmos show. Combines science with imagination:


1. Connecting our media literacy plans to our science plans
2. Maybe we should switch our topic to "Could we live elsewhere in our solar system? or maybe "What planet of our solar system would be the best for colonization?" After doing research, they could conclude Mars. Then we could show some movie clips claiming to of found life on Mars and evaluate their credibility.

Planning Steps