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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Evolution of the Universe

Learning Exercise: Evolution of the Universe

Evolution of the Universe
A report writing lesson that uses NASA's immense amount of information. Follow the links, take notes, discuss in groups, and type your findings.
Course: 8th Grade


Submitted by:
Dr. Troy Tenhet
Date Last Modified:
December 26, 2005


ELL Literacy with NASA: Evolution of the Universe:
Grade Level: Eighth Grade
Objectives: 1. Students will compose a short research report. 2. Students will
understand that we explore the universe (and why we do it). 3. Students will
communicate in writing (with short but concise sentences).
CDE Language Arts: 2.3 Write research reports. Define a thesis. Record
important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information
sources and paraphrase and summarize all perspectives on the topic, as
appropriate. Use a variety of primary and secondary sources and distinguish the
nature and value of each.? Organize and display information on charts, maps, and
CDE Science: Earth in the Solar System (Earth Sciences) 4: The structure and
composition of the universe can be learned from studying stars and galaxies and
their evolution. As a basis for understanding this concept: 4a: Students know
galaxies are clusters of billions of stars and may have different shapes. 4b:
Students know that the Sun is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy and that
stars may differ in size,
temperature, and color. 4e: Students know the appearance, general composition,
relative position and size, and motion of objects in the solar system, including
planets, planetary satellites, comets, and asteroids.
CDE-ELL Literacy Component: Writing Strategies and Applications (Intermediate):
Organization and Focus, Revising and Evaluating Following a model given by the
teacher, write a short paragraph of at least four sentences. Write legible,
simple sentences that respond to topics from language arts and other content
areas (e.g., math, science,
history/social science). Create cohesive paragraphs that develop a central idea
with consistent use of standard English grammatical forms even though some rules
may not be in evidence. Write simple sentences about an event or character from
a written text.
Produce independent writing that is understood when readregardless of the
inclusion of some inconsistent use of standard grammatical forms.
BTSA Component: Use for Standard 19 compliance.
Anticipatory Website:
Critical Tasks: (in any order) 1. Students should create visual images in order
to support their understanding. 2. Allow for one-on-one instruction as well as
group collaboration. 3. When implementing lesson, follow the objectives. 4.
Teacher must model fluent reading of the text. 5. Practice own and student ORAL
delivery of content. 6. Pre-teach concept of the existence of a universe and the
NASA space program (use multiple images). 7. Teacher and students are to be
involved in guided reading. 8. Students must report (orally) what they
Assessment: Informally through observation and
formally through the rubric building website located at
Additional Information:



  • Grade School
  • Middle School


Science, Language Arts, ELL, Technology


Collaboration skills and ability to follow directions.

Learning Objectives

1. Students will compose a short research report. 2. Students will understand that we explore the universe (and why we do it). 3. Students will communicate in writing (with short but concise sentences).

Type of Task

  • Supplemental activity

Technical Notes

LCD projector, Internet, laptops, whitescreens needed.