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Code the Solar System

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science

Science

Technology

Use Code Builder to emphasize the size and location of the planets in the solar system based on the location of the sun.

avatar Submitted By: Sherri Rickman

May 14, 2019

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity

Supporting Files

Lesson Plan, Resources, and World Template


Here you will find the lesson plan, images of the project, coding guide handout, and world template

Learning Objectives

  • Students will research characteristics of the eight planets and be able to name the planets, order them based on their size and position from the sun.
  • Students will build a model of the sun and the planets in the solar system using Code Builder.
  • Students will use Code Builder to create a sphere that represents each planet based on characteristics such as color and size.

Guiding Ideas

The guiding idea behind this lesson is to provide an introduction to our solar system. Students can explore the planets, understand their order in relation to the sun, and the sizes of the planets in relation to the size of the Earth.

What is provided for this lesson:

  • Minecraft Template World with the Sun already generated to give students a reference point. The sun in the template has a radius of 25. This gives students an idea of what the radius would be for all the planets based on the sun's radius. If you Google, "size of Jupiter", "size of Saturn", etc., it will show the radius in miles for those planets. This is a good point of reference for students when determining how to determine the radius for each planet.
  • Lesson plan
  • Images from student projects.
  • A simple guide for how to code the sphere

Organizing the project:

  • Think about how many days you want to spend on this project.
  • You may want a class period to do research and to show some things in Minecraft so that students understand why they are researching. Showing the students the template world and how I could build using the code generated excitement, so then they were more engaged when doing research.
  • You may want to spend a class period building with code.
  • You may want to spend a class period having students present their build to the class.
  • Think about if you want students to work individually or if you want them to work in partners/groups
  • Use a scoot method to get students moving around the room and researching the planets using books from the library or vetted websites on the solar system. (Set a station for each planet) Have them take notes on the planets with a focus on size, the position from the sun, and unique characteristics. This would be a great time to get your librarian involved.
  • Students will need time to log into their Minecraft accounts
  • Students will need to understand how to access Code Builder and how to execute their code in the world

 

Student Activities

  • Students will work individually or in assigned pairs/groups
  • Students will spend time researching planets and taking notes
  • If working alone student will need to access and be able to open the Solar System Template Minecraft world (provided in the downloadable assets).
  • If working in pairs/groups, one student in the group will need to be the host and open the Solar System Template MinecraftEDU world (provided in the downloadable assets). Group members will need to join host world by either using the Friends tab or Adding a server.
  • Students will use Code Builder to create a sphere shape for each planet
  • Students will use a board, poster, or sign to label their models with the name and important characteristics of the planets.
  • Students can even take pictures and label this information in the portfolio. This portfolio can be exported out of Minecraft for teacher review.
  • Students will present their builds to the class

 

Performance Expectations

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to name the eight planets and sequence them based on their position from the Sun.

Students can show this knowledge by (choose your own method or combination of methods):

  • Class presentation: present Solar System builds to their classmates.
  • Project Portfolio: Capture photos of their build using the camera tool and exporting the portfolio for teacher review.
  • Flipgrid Video: Have students create a video presentation showing their build in MinecraftEDU

 

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity

External References

Supporting Files

Lesson Plan, Resources, and World Template


Here you will find the lesson plan, images of the project, coding guide handout, and world template