A Sky Full Of Stars (LS-TR-91)

This learning scenario has been created by Emine ERTAŞ, a Turkish User Group Teacher. It was implemented for secondary school students aged between 11-13. This is an interdisciplinary lesson dealing with Science, Art, Technology which is integrated into an English lesson.

Aims of the project

Firstly, one aim is to allow children to develop their basic knowledge of Space and Astronomy. How? By discovering and exchanging basic information about our Solar System, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and other planets. As well as other celestial objects (such as Galaxy, meteors, comets, stars, satellites). On the other hand, this lesson aims to improve their use of English in different areas. (Science, Culture, Technology)

This lesson also intends to incentivize children to search for famous scientists working on Astronomy and Space in history. While doing this, the teacher can increase the use of digital cultural heritage in the classroom, particularly in STEM and foreign language education.

The lesson is designed around fun activities and uses web 2.0 tools so students can create online materials in cooperation.

Finally, this learning scenario aspires to improve students’ digital literacy. Especially by making them search on the internet and learn how to use platforms like Europeana, Nasa to reach information in a safe way.

Astronomy and space

Astronomy and Space are mysterious issues, raising people’s interest for ages. In the curriculum of English lesson (5th-grade students (11) and 6th-grade students (12)), we deal with the Solar System. Students are interested in Astronomy and Space, rather than other topics. So I decided to create this learning scenario for my lesson which is full of interesting activities where students can use English effectively and without boredom.

Astronomy and cultural heritage

On the other hand, I integrated Cultural Heritage in my lesson by searching for examples of Astronomy and Space works from ancient times up to now. Students liked the way we choose together. Students started the lesson by making searches on the Nasa website. Then, they created their teams in cooperation. To follow the activity, they used tablets. They collected information and shared their results. Some created posters, some completed quiver worksheets. Some created the Solar System model. (Students used offline teaching materials in making model process.)

In the development of the lesson where we integrated Cultural Heritage, students got familiar with the Europeana platform. They learnt how to use the website. The browsed through Europeana collections, looking for items about Astronomy and Space.

Thanks to Europeana, students analyzed the works of scientists who were dealing with Astronomy and Space in old ages: from pre-historic times to middle ages. They could also find devices invented and used by scientists of that time (Lunarium, Globe, Orrery etc).

Students inspired by astronomy

Students created QR codes and stuck them on the posters. As a result, they created interactive posters about both Europeana and Astronomy in old ages. In addition, they painted sheets from Quiver, (3D Augmented Reality colouring apps) and stuck them on the posters as well. Students also created content such as online games (3D puzzle and word cloud)

All these activities improved their ICT skills. We used VR gloggs to create a real environment for learning process. By means of VR, they watched the planets in Solar System live.

Students listened to The voices of Space from Nasa resources. After that, they sang songs about our solar system together in class. In fact, this made learning fun and improved their listening and speaking skills in English.

Planets in our Solar System

At the end of the lesson, students got information from Google about the famous Turkish and Muslim scientists who lived in Anatolia and who made important researches on Astronomy and Space. Students collected their tasks and turned them into pdf files and created an e-book in joomag. They named their e-book ‘A Sky Full of Stars’.

Conclusion

As a result, even in a language class, students can learn a lot and improve multiple skills thanks to 1 learning scenario prepared in an interdisciplinary learning approach (Science-Art-Technology). It can develop their 21st learning skills (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). Finally, thanks to Europeana you can easily integrate Cultural Heritage into your learning environment as well.

Students learning about Astronomy
Students learning about Astronomy

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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