|Unit of Instruction||Character motivation, vocabulary, note-taking, finding key details in nonfiction and fiction|
|Learning Targets and Learning Criteria|
Tuesday – Check books for book report, due September 28. You will give a short oral presentation about your book: name and author, general description of the plot, don’t tell the ending. Today we will read Aaron, He Sang, and look for key details and reasons. Students will silently read the passage and then we will discuss. Dr. Forney will read the passage aloud after our discussion. We will also look for metaphors, similes, alliteration, and other writer’s skills. If time allows, we will review vocabulary.
Wednesday – Independent Reading Day in the Morning. In the afternoon we will read “Awesome Planet.” We will review vocabulary.
Thursday – We will finish reading “Awesome Planet.” We will discuss how nonfiction authors teach many important facts and how our brains can remember more when we sometimes read the material as a reader’s theater play. We will review vocabulary.
Friday – Vocabulary Test and Kahoot.
Awesome Planet: A Reader’s Theater
Setting: A television contest
Vocabulary: mercurial, oblate, rapt attention, equatorial, density
Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time once again for the
Syd: Thank you and good evening. A special welcome to our studio audience and to those of you watching at home. And as always, an enormous welcome to our three Awesome Planet judges, Cindy Koffnauer, Michael Funk, and Elroy Davis.
Audience: (applause, whistles, shouts, etc.)
Syd: Judges, we hope you are well-rested and ready to put your astronomically brilliant judging skills to good use. As you know, for the past nine weeks we’ve featured one planet each week. Contestants have done their best to convince us that they are the most awesome planet. In tonight’s live show, we’ll hear once more from each of the planets as they recap their most impressive features.
Michael: Sounds fascinating.
Cindy: I’m ready! Bring ‘em on.
Elroy: Let’s rock and roll!
Syd: Moving right along…It’s time for a recap from our planets. Help me give a warm, Awesome Planet welcome to the planet known as “little speedy,” named after the Roman messenger to the gods…Mercury!
Mercury: Ta-da! I might be the second smallest planet, but I’m fast! Not only do I spin at top speed, but……I travel around the sun faster than any of the other planets. Did you know that I have less gravity than here on Earth? You would weigh much less on Mercury than you do here.
Cindy: Mercury, here I come!
Mercury: You could say I’m an extreme kind of planet, temperature-wise, that is. The temperature on Mercury can be fiery hot, much too hot for humans. In my atmosphere you’d become an unidentified frying object (pause) Get it, frying object? (laughs at his joke) hahahaha!
Cindy: Is it always hot on Mercury?
Mercury: Just during my long day. At night, you could freeze to death in my
Mercury: The sun and I are….(puts two fingers together)…like that! As a matter of fact, because I’m so much closer to it than the other planets are, the sun appears two-three times larger than here on earth.
Michael: Didn’t you mention before that you have no moons?
Mercury: That’s right, Michael. Although I have no moons, I look much like the moon you see each night from Earth because my surface is covered with craters and gouges.
Michael: Why the bad complexion?
Mercury: When meteors enter my atmosphere they don’t burn up, so they blast away at my surface and leave huge dents and basins.
Cindy: Speaking of atmosphere, do you have air on Mercury?
Mercury: My air is so thin that it is barely detectable.
Elroy: Did you hear the one about the guy who opened a restaurant on Mercury? It went out of business for “lack of atmosphere.” (laughs at his own joke) hahahaha.
Mercury: Here’s another amazing fact about me. There is virtually no water on Mercury. As a matter of fact, I’m thirsty! Does anyone have a bottle
Syd: Anything else you’d like to share, Mercury? What makes you think you you could be this year’s Amazing Planet winner?
Mercury: I’ve saved the most stupendous fact until last. One of my days is equal to 176 Earth days. Because my days and nights are so long, I have less than two days per year!
Cindy: Wow! That is impressive.
Syd: You heard it here, ladies and gentlemen…The planet Mercury!!!
Syd: Next, we welcome that hostile beauty, planet Venus!
Venus: Hello again, everyone. I’m Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love
Elroy: Too bad we can’t see you more often. Jeepers creepers!
Cindy: Isn’t it true that like Mercury, you don’t have any moons?
Venus: That’s true I have no moons, but I hope you won’t compare me to Mercury. Where he is fast, I’m slow. Where he has almost no atmosphere, I have a thick, concentrated cloud cover which traps sunlight and heat. I have the hottest average temperature of all the planets. In other words, I sizzle. I’m a hot mama!
Elroy: You shine, Baby!
Venus: Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, I’m the brightest object in the sky because the sun reflects off my dense atmosphere. If you want to compare me to someone, try comparing me to your own planet. Like Earth, I have volcanoes, mountains, and valleys. But some consider me a hostile planet because I’m too hot for plants and animals to exist. (sigh) I just hate being alone all the time…
Michael: Why do you think you should become the next Awesome Planet?
Venus: I was hoping you’d ask. Not only do I sizzle, not only am I bright, but
Syd: What more can we say, ladies and gentlemen? The planet Venus!!!
Syd: Moving right along, help me give an Awesome Planet greeting to the
Mars: That’s me! My reddish color reminded early civilizations of blood, so I
Cindy: Why are you red?
Mars: Well, it’s not because I’m blushing. My surface is covered with oxidized iron, which you humans call rust. That’s right. I’m rusty!
Elroy: Tell us a little more about yourself.
Mars: Well, Elroy, my temperment is more like the planet Earth than any of the other planets. I have cold, howling winds, dust storms, and tornadoes. There is evidence that I once had rivers, streams, lakes, and possibly an ocean.
Cindy: Amazing. That’s incredibly interesting.
Michael: Earth has a moon. Do you have any moons?
Mars: Bingo! Not just one, but two moons, Michael. My moons, Phobos and Deimos, were named for the mythical horses that pulled the chariot of the Roman god of war, Mars. My moons are small and are shaped like baked potatoes.
Elroy: Sour cream, anyone?
Syd: Anything else you’d like to share, Mars?
Mars: I’m just getting warmed up, Syd. I have a giant canyon, much like your own
Elroy: Let’s rock and roll again!
Mars: I also have the tallest mountain on any planet in the solar system. It’s
Elroy: You’re on a roll. What else can you tell us?
Mars: You Earthlings are fascinated with Mars. The two mobile robots you sent
Michael: What about Martians? You know…little green men?
Elroy: Guess where Martians go when they get married—on their honeyearth.
Mars: Martians are a figment of your own creative imaginations, I’m afraid.
Elroy: You should get together with Venus!
Syd: Well, thank you for sharing. Let’s show our appreciation for Mars!
Syd: And now we’ve come to the big boy himself, Jupiter.
Jupiter: Yo! The gigantic planetary wonderchild has arrived. I’m Jupiter, more
Elroy: Now that’s big!
Jupiter: That’s me–an awesome ball of hydrogen and helium.
Cindy: Aren’t they gases?
Jupiter: That’s right. If you want gas, you’ve come to the right place. I have no
Michael: (laughing) This gets better all the time.
Jupiter: Not only am I a big, but I’m quick, too. I spin so fast that I have an
Elroy: Say what?
Jupiter: I spin so fast my middle bulges out, making me look slightly flatter on
Cindy: A king?
Jupiter: When the ancient Romans named the brightest objects in the sky they
Michael: What makes you think you qualify as the most awesome planet of all?
Jupiter: Just check out my surface, Dude! I give off more than twice the heat I
Syd: You heard it here, ladies and gentlemen. That big hot gas-ball with his
Syd: And now, bring on that spectacular showman, Saturn.
Saturn: (dramatic voice) Behold Saturn! Feast your eyes on my yellow beauty.
Michael: That’s what I call an entrance!
Saturn: I’ve always been able to be seen with the naked eye, but no one had ever
Cindy: That must have been a shock, to suddenly find out you have rings!
Saturn: Galileo was amazed and…puzzled…by my rings. Scientists have been
Elroy: Are they diamond rings? (laughs)
Saturn: (scoffs) Diamonds? Mere fossil fuel! There’s not a diamond on Earth
Michael: Aren’t you the second largest planet?
Saturn: When it comes to size only Jupiter is bigger than I am. I’m made of
Cindy: Do you have an equatorial bulge?
Elroy: That’s rather personal, isn’t it?
Saturn: I prefer to use the term oblate. Yes, I’m shaped rather like a slightly
Syd: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us while you have our rapt attention?
Saturn: Yes. Just because I’m big doesn’t mean I’m heavy. I have the least density
Syd: What a legacy. While we’ve been entertained by Planet Saturn, I’m afraid
Uranus: Thanks, Syd. Either pronunciation of my name is okay, but for practical
Syd: Right. Uranus. Remind our judges and studio audience just why you should be
Uranus: Unusual name, unusual planet. I do things differently. I’m blue-green in
Cindy: You’ve got our attention. Tell us more.
Uranus: I was the first planet discovered in modern times. William Herschel was
Elroy: Did he give you your name?
Uranus: Herschel wanted to name me after his British king, George, but other
Michael: What else can you tell us?
Uranus: For a long time scientists thought I was bland and boring, that I was just
Michael: Diamonds? Did you say diamonds?
Cindy: Think of a ring made with one of those diamonds!
Uranus: Speaking of rings, Saturn isn’t the only planet with rings. I have rings, too,
Syd: Well thank you for sharing such a wealth of information. Let’s show our
Syd: Help me welcome our next planet in line, Neptune.
Syd: Welcome, Neptune. What do you have to say for yourself?
Cindy: How was that possible?
Neptune: I’m much too far away to be easily seen. When Uranus was discovered,
Elroy: Fascinating. Man o’ man! Can you belive that?
Neptune: Just like your Earthly ocean, my surface is always changing. I’m hot on
the “great dark spot,” and can be seen with a powerful telescope.
Cindy: Now, that’s what I call a storm.
Michael: Do you have any moons?
Neptune: I have 8 moons, but my most famous moon, Triton, is known because it
Syd: Well, we’re sure glad you did. Let’s show our appreciation for…Neptune!
Michael: Where’s Pluto?
Syd: Oh, I’m afraid he’s been disqualified.
Elroy: Say what?
Syd: On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union, an organization
Michael: That’s right. Pluto was too small and doesn’t generate enough
Cindy: Too bad. I guess now that makes Mercury our smallest planet!
Syd: Ladies and gentlemen, that leaves Planet Earth, our home planet, but I’m
Elroy: That makes me sad. I was lookin’ forward to hearing all about Earth.
Syd: The show’s not over, folks. Next week, before our judges vote, we’ll hear
Cindy: Ta ta for now!
Michael: Bye-bye, folks!
Elroy: See ya! Later, Gater! Hey, how do aliens get their baby to
Aaron, He Sang
One thunderous, stormy night, while the wind howled and screamed outside, all the babies howled and screamed inside the newborn baby nursery.