planetPlanet Web Questplanet

A WebQuest that Integrates Science and Language Arts



Introduction | Task| Process |Evaluation | Conclusion

The Introduction

You are among a team of space travelers who plan to rocket to another planet in our solar system. You and your fellow travelers will gather information about a planet and help decide which of the nine planets can support life. Only prepared travelers are allowed to leave earth to travel. Mission Control (Mrs. Hartmann) is in charge of issuing planet passports. When Mission Control decides you have completed pre-flight preparations, she will sign a planet passport for your team.  Then, you can blast off. While visiting and exploring your planet, you will collect data and send it back to Mission Control (and your families) as a cyber-postcard.  In addition, when you return from your planet, you must organize and present all of your data to other space travelers.  Good luck!


The Task

Your first job is to earn your planet passport. You and your fellow space travelers will work as a team to meet the pre-flight requirements. 

Pre-flight requirements:

  • Apply for your planet passport by
    • *Knowing your destination (planet)
    • *Naming your mission and designing a patch (badge)
    • *Getting Mission Control to sign a passport before  you blast off.

Exploring your planet:

Once you have arrived on your planet, your job is to explore and to gather data. You and your fellow space travelers will work as a team to collect scientific information. You will need to collect enough information to fill out all three Data Collection Sheets for Mission Control 

Collecting Data:

You and your fellow travelers must collect the following information.  Record the information on the three Data Collection Sheets.

  • 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?)
  • How much do you weigh on your planet?  (go to  )
  • How old are you on your planet?  (go to )
  • Other Interesting facts (Special features. Does it have volcanoes, craters, rings, valleys, etc..?)
Communication with Mission Control:
  • Send information collected back to Mission Control (and your families).  Send a Cyber Postcard using a virtual postcard site (contact Mission Control for site information)

Return to Earth and Debriefing session:
  • Organize your data into a chart and present your data as a team to the other space travelers and Mission Control.  Be sure to explain whether your planet can support life.


The Process

  1. *First, Mission Control (your teacher) will assign you to a team.
  2. *Contact Mission Control for your planet destination.
  3. *Design a patch for your mission. To learn how, click on the following link for directions on Creating a Crew Patch
  4. *Obtain a Planet Passport from Mission Control.  Fill it  in with your mission name and patch design.  Ask Mission Control to sign it. 
  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 notes.
  8. *To do research, click on the name of your planet destination listed below.
  9. *Next, click on one of the Web Site links for your planet. Read the information and make your notes under the correct headings on the Data Collection Sheets.
  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. *Obtain Cyber Postcards First Draft Instruction Sheets for each of your team.  Each team must write a postcard.
  13. *Using the notes you have made on your Data Collection Sheets and chart, each person must write three paragraphs to send to Mission Control.
  14. *Be sure to include the facts you have collected about your planet. Share some of your 'adventures' too!  Try to be creative by adding more information for each paragraph.
  15. *Remember to write the postcard paragraphs in complete sentences. Be sure to spell correctly, and use capital letters and punctuation where appropriate.  Do not forget to indent your paragraphs.
  16. *Peer conference with another crew to edit your rough copy.  
  17. *When you are finished editing, you are ready to create and write 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 and also to your parents). Print a copy of your postcard for each team member.
  18. *Finally, your team will share the information you've collected about your planet at a debriefing session back on Earth at Mission Control. As a team, decide how you will organize and present the data to your fellow travelers.  Make a poster that includes a picture of your planet and a chart that organizes the information you and your team collected.  Practice how you will present your data and explain whether your planet can support life as we know it. Use a clear, loud voice. Make eye contact with your audience. Hold your charts and notecards still and away from your face.  (Make posters...and index card notes)
  19. *Obtain and use the Crew Checklist to make sure you have completed all the steps of the Planet WebQuest.
  20. *Obtain and complete a self-evaluation sheet. (See Evaluation.) 
  21. *Present your data and explain whether your planet can support life at the debriefing session with teams from other missions at Mission Control.
  22. *Hand in all your work for evaluation.





The Evaluation

Your mission name and patch, signed Planet Passport, three Data Collection Sheets, cyber postcard, Planet Poster with picture and chart, 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
Obtain this checklist from Mission Control. 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; however, 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? Can life exist on another planet? 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?


Finally, now that you have learned about space, you might want to 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.


The Teacher Page


Based on a template from The WebQuest Page