Incorporating Speaking and Listening Standards in Science

I'm so excited to share these posters! As part of our unit on the solar system, we jigsawed the planets (and sun, asteroid belt, and moon). Students worked in groups of two or three creating a poster about their planet or object in the night sky. However, our expectations were clear... I use "our" because I have an absolutely phenomenal student teacher who has lit a fire in our classroom - she's ah-mazing! Groups were given articles and/or books to reference and one day's time during science to pull out four "freaky, fun facts" to share with the class. We were looking for anomalies and off-the-wall facts (anything other than Saturn has rings, or Mercury is hot). 

I am thrilled with what they discovered! As student groups presented, the rest of the class took notes on their freaky, fun facts. They also complimented the presenters. I was pleased with how excited students were to present and also the amount of notes taken were pretty impressive! They thoroughly enjoyed each other's fun facts. 
We have created a rubric with which to score their posters, and also required symbols for each fact in order to help cement the fact easier in students' minds. For example, Neptune's poster as seen below has symbols of methane gas, dark clouds, the sea, and a cyclone the size of Earth. These all coincide with this group's fun facts about Neptune.  
 After presenting and gallery-walking to make sure students all took down at least 3 facts from each object in the sky/planet, we'll use a scoring rubric for their posters which includes points for citing their sources and including original symbols to represent each fun fact. We'll ask students to write down as a quick-write later on what they'll remember about these planets as a segway into our constellations and space exploration unit. I was so happy with what these fifth graders accomplished!


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