planetPlanet Web Questplanet

A WebQuest for Grade 3
(Science/Language Arts)

Designed by Rita Gunning  and  Wendy Thomson
Coordinated by J. Byers 


Introduction | Task| Process |Evaluation | Conclusion | Teacher Page

The Introduction

You are an astronaut on a mission to another planet in our solar system. You will join a crew to gather information about your destination. When you become experts, you will voyage to this planet. After exploring it, you will contact Mission Control on Earth by cyber postcard to communicate your impressions and data.

The Task

Your job is to collect data about your planet. Your crew of astronauts will work as a team to collect this scientific information. You will need to show your data sheet to Mission Control before blast off.


Pre-flight requirements:

  • *Know your destination (planet)
  • *Name your mission and design a patch (badge)
Data Collection:
  • *Namesake (Who is your planet named after?)
  • *Distance from the Sun (How many kilometers?)
  • *Diameter (What is the distance across is your planet?)
  • *Period of revolution (How long is one year on your planet in Earth years?)
  • *Rotation period (One day on your planet equals how many hours/days on Earth?)
  • *Moons (How many? What are their names?)
  • *Atmosphere (What gases are in the atmosphere?)
  • *Temperature (How hot or cold is it?)
  • *Composition (What is your planet made of?)
  • *Other Interesting facts (Special features. Does it have volcanoes, craters, rings, valleys, etc..?)
Exploration, and communication:
  • Create a Cyber Postcard using a virtual postcard site (contact Mission Control).

Debriefing session:

  • Present your data as a crew to your peers and Mission Control.

The Process

  1. *First, Mission Control (your teacher) will assign you to a crew 

  2. ( 3 students ).
  3. *Contact Mission Control for your planet destination.
  4. *Design a patch for your mission. To learn how, click on the following link for directions on Creating a Crew Patch
  5. *Print out each of the Data Collection Sheets.
  6. *Decide which data sheet each crew member will be responsible for completing with information about your planet destination. 
  7. *You are now ready to start collecting data. Remember, only make jot notes.
  8. *To do your research, click on the name of your planet destination listed at the bottom of this page. 
  9. *Next, click on one of the Web Site links for your planet. Read the information and make your jot notes under the correct headings.
  10. *When you have finished reading the first Web Site, view another Web site link for your planet. Read the information and decide if there is any new information that should be added to your report. 
  11. *Now you are ready to write the rough copy for your cyber postcard. 
  12. *Click here and print out draft sheets for each of your crew. 
  13. *Using the jot notes you have made on your Data Collection Sheets, each write a paragraph to Mission Control on your draft sheet. 
  14. *Be sure to include facts about your planet. Share some of your 'adventures' too! 
  15. *Remember to write the postcard paragraphs in complete sentences. Be sure to spell correctly, and use capital letters and punctuation where appropriate. 
  16. *Peer conference with another crew to edit your rough copy.
  17. *When you are finished editing, you are ready to create your cyber postcard. Click this link to go the virtual postcard site, follow the instructions, and send your message to Mission Control (your teacher's email account). Print a copy of your postcard for each crew member. 
  18. *Finally, your crew will share the information you've collected about your planet at a debriefing session back on Earth at Mission Control. As a crew, first practise how you will present your data. Use a clear, loud voice. Make eye contact with your audience. Hold your paper still and away from your face. 
  19. *Print out and use the Crew Checklist to ensure you have completed all the steps of your task. 
  20. *Print out and complete a self-evaluation sheet. (See Evaluation.) 
  21. *Present your data and cyber postcard at the debriefing session with Crews from other missions at Mission Control. 
  22. *Hand in all your work for evaluation.

Good luck
on your Quest!

The Evaluation

Your mission patch, data sheets, cyber postcard, and presentation about your planet will be evaluated. There is a checklist to help you make sure that you have completed all the necessary steps of the Planet WebQuest
Print out this checklist. Check to confirm that you have completed all the steps. Your teacher will also evaluate your WebQuest using this form.

The Conclusion

During your WebQuest, you have learned many facts about your planet, yet there is much more to learn about our Solar System. The vastness of space has given us many challenges and questions. 

Does life exist elsewhere? What are some of the latest scientific findings? How can you use the information gathered in your WebQuest to help others? Check out some of the links below to learn more about space. Can you find other web sites that have interesting information about space? 

Choose picture books, novels or poems in the science- fiction genre. Does this literature contain factual information? On what scientific facts has the author chosen to base his or her story? Why? Write a response to a selection in your Journal.

NASA's Solar System Exploration: Kids

Planets - Zoom Astronomy

Arty the Part-time Astronaut

Windows to the Universe


The Teacher Page

The following Space Links, Space Books, and Rubric provide resources and evaluation for the Planet WebQuests completed by your students.


Based on a template from The WebQuest Page