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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

We're On A Mission!

Project URL:

How it works:

After completing shared activities to learn about the United States' Mars Exploration Rover mission, students work in cooperative groups, study a NASA mission, and design a mission into space as part of a Web Quest. Students organize information gathered from related Web sites to write a persuasive essay convincing the United States President and Congress to approve and fund their project as the country's next mission into space. Students also design a space vehicle and astronaut mission patch as part of their presentation. Projects will be shared in the form of oral presentation.

Standards addressed:  

Students uses information technology to navigate, gather, analyze, organize, and present information related to United States space missions; participate in group meetings to research, discuss, and evaluate their findings; and interpret and synthesize information to produce a narrative account in the form of a persuasive essay regarding a future mission. They demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work, analyze and revise work for clarity and effectiveness, and prepare and deliver oral presentations regarding an originally designed space mission. 

Materials used: 
This program requires computers with Internet access, speakers and video players, printers, and scanners.  Software needed will be a word processor, draw/paint program, and presentation software if you'd like the students to create a multimedia show to accompany the oral presentation.

The students:
We're On A Mission! is designed for fifth grade students working in a computer lab. It can be adapted for grades six through twelve and may be done in a classroom or library setting. Students use a group checklist to evaluate their progress. This program can be taught in conjunction with Rocketry In Motion, another TeachNet unit.

Overall value:
This Web Quest results in students developing a sense of pride and accomplishment as they synthesize and organize information found via Web-based research and design a future space mission. Students use their writing and word processing skills to create a persuasive essay while employing their art skills to draw and label a spacecraft and mission patch. Video and photographic resources excite and motivate the students.

Teachers need to preview all the Web resources that the students will be using. Some sites may need to be adapted or edited for your student population.

Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.) She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through Teachers Network.


Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more

Subject: English, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 4

Ending Grade Level: 8



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