CoL 1.mp4

Direct Instruction

It is fairly common practice to use guided reading as a way to integrate your inquiry topic: this term my school is learning about space.

What I wanted to show in this episode was the way I plan for guided reading, and why I do it that way. Basically, in each group, we only read one page of our story, each day. Even if the story is 7 pages long, we only read one page per day. Yes, this means one article might take us more than a week to read. However, it affords us a lot more time for in-depth discussions, and to find new words or ideas we may have missed if we had read all 7 pages at once. I believe deeper connections can be made if we take our time with reading.

I also wanted to show how even though students are reading off their Chromebooks, we can still use paper modelling books in a meaningful way.

(This was a 20 minute lesson)

Extended plan here

Reflection on the video clip

  • The discussion was great - lots of connections, new words, building deep knowledge about the topic of space.

  • I kept leaning forward and blocking Hiria from the camera view.

  • Encourage all students to share (not just the boys).

Class Site Content

Term 2 Week 7

Becoming a martian

Monday - page 24 and 25

  • Explain the timeline that is described in the first paragraph under ‘Boots on Mars’.

  • What does it mean when it says “when the two planets are at the closest point in their orbits?”

  • Why will “These first people to Mars will be highly trained”?

  • Why would “they ask for volunteers to be the first Martian settlers.”

  • “Before you put your hand up, though, there are lots of problems to solve.” - what problems could those be? Record your ideas.

  • If gravity on Mars is ⅓ of Earth’s, how much would you weigh on Mars if you weighed 60kg on Earth?

  • Why is Mars red?


  • Research the Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris. Create a profile (What, where, who, when, why, how) about each. Share on your blog.

Wednesday - page 26 and 27

  • Why does the heading have a number 1 in it?

  • In your own words, how long would you live on Mars for (without oxygen) and why?

  • What would happen to settles on Mars if a dust storm happened?

  • What’s magma?

  • Why is it ‘doubtful’ that the volcanoes are still active?

  • What was prehistoric Earth like?

  • What would be an impossible task and why?

  • What is a ‘desalination plant’?

  • How do astronauts get water now?


  • Research geothermal power stations. Create a profile (What, where, who, when, why, how) about each. Share on your blog.

Thursday - page 28 and 29

  • Why would the food need to last 26 months?

  • Why won’t plants grow?

  • What would the giant mirrors be used for? How would that work?

  • How long would the first settlers have to live in their landing craft for? How do you know?

  • Explain the three reasons astronauts can’t just walk around on Mars.


  • Draw a picture of what you think the inside of a ‘module’ would look like. Remember that astronauts would have to live in for upto 18 months.

Friday - page 30

  • Discuss: How long could you stand living in a colony that contained just a handful of people?


  • Create a summary of the story using the problems/solutions as headings. Write a paragraph in your own words about each problem/solution. Share on your blog.

Learner Generated Content