Comparative Planetology

Final Project: Lesson Plan Development & Implementation

Each participant will develop their own lesson plan using a Constructivist approach that incorporates prior knowledge, inquiry, and exploration to construct new learning. You should consider this as an alternative assessment project, designed to take the place of a final exam. As a term paper, the requirements are specified and your paper should meet the criteria established by the instructors. You must also state which of the six modules your lesson plan relates to on your initial rough draft and final product.

Your lesson plan should include ten specific sections relevant to this instructional model. Many lessons developed for the NASA CERES Project use a Learning Cycle format which moves students from concept exploration to concept application. More information can be found at the following websites:


In summary, the first stage provides students with an opportunity to explore the concept you intend for them to learn. Its designed to help them become familiar with the concepts. The second stage involves activities designed to help introduce the concept to students. The final stage involves a chance for students to further work with the concepts and apply them.

Examples can be found at the NASA CERES Lesson Plan site.

This project, along with the other requirements for Module 7, constitute 25% of your grade. It is designed to demonstrate both the content knowledge you have gained in this course, and as a practicing teacher, the ability to present that information to students in a meaningful way.

Submit your lesson plan using this format:
  1. Title
  2. Overview - a short description of the lesson which would be useful for teachers who might want to use your plan
  3. National Science Education Standards - indicate which ones are covered in your lesson and the student or grade level
  4. Learner Outcomes - short statements of learning expectations (these may be written in behavioral terms)
  5. Background Information - includes prior scientific concepts, information, references, required materials, and technology
  6. Learning Cycle Activities
    Exploration Phase - Activities to explore ideas, data and images; and to challenge concepts
    Concept Introduction - Activities to experience new concepts
    Concept Application - Activities to practice discovered concepts
  7. Activity Debriefing or Summary
  8. Additional Extensions
  9. Assessment Procedures
  10. Summary - a short narrative that summarizes what occurred during implementation of your lesson; including student responses, what worked, what didn't work, and possible revisions.

Lesson plan development and implementation, as well as the other requirements for Module 7, is the basis for the final project, which counts as 25% of the course grade. Constructive feedback will be expected for lesson plans developed by other course participants.

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Montana State University

last updated 5/5/02