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GIVE ME SPACE! No, seriously it’s my fifth graders’ favorite unit. After reading Topic 6 and 7 in our Elevate Science program I always assign our Solar System Model project where students build a ‘scale’ model. I let my students be as creative as possible when it comes to material choice and method of construction for this project. Last year I had a student make her entire project out of rice krispies and fondant! 


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I love students dedication to projects!!!! #solarsystem #science #fifthgradescience #elementaryscience #space #planets

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All the students would walk by as that project was displayed in the hallway and they’d say “I can’t wait to eat Jupiter!” I usually assign the project after we have taken the unit test. This way students know the impact of the effort they put into their project and how it could affect their grade. I give them a rubric/scoring guide so they know what I am looking for in terms of non-negotiables with the model. I do inform them that they can buy a solar system kit, so they can get the appropriate sized planets, but I strongly discourage them from assembling the kit together with the instructions that come in the box – that’s where their own creativity needs to take over!

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#fifthgrade #solarsystemproject 😍

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Besides the eight planets they must include the Sun, Earth’s moon, and the asteroid belt. Let me tell you, I am so impressed with their creativity with the asteroid belts. When they were asking questions in class on how to make it, I told them just stick a piece of tape into sand (lame!) The cherry-on-top of the whole project is, I hang as many of them as possible from the ceiling! Even the ones on a poster board. It is such a fun way to showcase each project and all the younger grades and even other teachers get a kick out of ‘walking through space’ as they go down the hallway! 


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#fifthgrade #solarsystemproject

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Sara Hallgren

Sara Hallgren

Elementary Science Teacher

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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