Assignments for Each Session

Assignments for Each Session

 
     Below is a listing of the assignments that you should do for each session of the World Builder's Class. Although your group will have to make decisions together, the actual doing part of the work can be done by individuals, or in any way that you wish. There is a lot to do, but when you divide the work by three or four, you will see that it is manageable. So long as you keep up, it will not be difficult, and seeing your planet coming together is exciting work!

    I think of this as an open class. By this I mean that you can invite a friend to come to class with you. You can go to any professor on any campus (probably most productively during his/her office hours) to get help or advice. Search that Internet! If you can't draw but you know an artist, ask that friend for help, with acknowledgement, of course! World building is a big job.

     Human beings have an amazing diversity of talents. Cherish each other. You will need that math person, that artist, that wild creative mind, that tirelessly persistent researcher. Everything that you know about the earth can be used to think about your planet. Everything that you can do, or dare, will turn out to be valuable. Together, you can make it happen: together, you can build a world.

This page provides a planning guide for your in-class sessions and a check list of completed work that you need to bring to class each week. Click on the number of the session that you wish to review.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Weekly readings, how-to information, and web resources are on the pages of the individual lessons.


   Unit One Astronomy and Physics: Planet and Star

Unit One In Class Assignment

1. The first thing that you need to do is to form groups
to work on your individual planets. Building a planet (especially in ten sessions!) is too much work for one person. Your group will need the diverse talents of the individuals in it, so share your areas of interest and strength. Your group should contain two or three individuals. It will be helpful if at least one has computer skills.

2. Your group will need to decide on

  • who is going to do which pages
  • what your files will be called
  • the structure of your planetary system
  • the names of your planet and its sun (and moon(s))
  • decide on the size, mass, temperature and star type of your sun(s)
  • decide on the masses and orbits of your planets and moons
  • the length of your planet's year and day
  • When your group will meet Dr Viau each week on Yahoo Messenger

3. What you need to do right away.

  • Decide on a time to meet with your group to create the Solar System web page.
  • Sign on to Yahoo messenger and get your account set up.
  • Send Dr Viau an email message with your Yahoo Messenger name.

Your group will work together to do this unit and make the page for it.
Each person should do these things:

Read the rubrics for the Solar System page;
Read the science notes for this page.
Download and use the Universe Program  (http://www.diardsoftware.com)
Check out the Helpful Web pages (Links) for this chapter and chose a few images.


Unit One Homework: Bring to Class
in Week Two

This page will have

  • a written description of your solar system
    • a graphic or diagram of your solar system: Use a graphics program or modify a picture from the NASA site, or draw and scan your picture. This will be on your web page
    • a page showing that you have worked out the math for your system. (See Science Notes)
    • See "How to How to Design Your Solar System" for some ideas of how to do this chapter.
      Due Week 3

Planets that are Examples for You to Look At

Loki is a planet designed by a group of World Builders at Montana State University in the spring of 1993. They have agreed to share their planet with you. Some material has been added to give you a sense of how to work with your planet.

Shalimar is a planet that I have built for you. It shows you
  • one way to organize your information
  • examples of what kind of diagrams, pictures, etc. will form the framework of your planetary narrative.
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   Unit Two Geology:  Forming the Rocky Surface

* Your group will work to

  • decide on the high and low places on your planet
  • draw maps to show land and water areas
  • draw relief maps of your planet, showing mountains, lakes, rivers
  • create three dimensional models of your planet
  • write a description of the geological features of your planet
  • draw sketches of your planet's landscapes

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • a written description (in html format) of the geology of your planet.
    Include information on the land and water areas

    Use a drawing program or Fractal Terrain to draw relief maps of the planet.
    Bring your maps into html format -- a template is provided to help you.
    Also bring at least half a dozen printouts of your maps to class.
    Bring in your three dimensional relief map and globe.  

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   Unit Three Meteorology:  Air, Ocean, Weather

* Your group will work to

  • decide on the weather of your planet
  • Sketch out major air and ocean currents
  • draw maps to show the climate zones, using your relief maps
  • write a description of your planet's climate and weather.

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description (in html format) of your planet's climate and weather. A template is provided.
  • A diagram of major climatic ocean and air currents.
  • Your computer drawn maps of the climatic zones, now modified to show temperature and rainfall zones.
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   Unit Four Microbiology:  Unicellular LIfe

* Your group will work to

  • discuss your first life forms and how they live in your climates
  • Sketch your unicellular organisms
  • write a description of how life arose on your planet.
  • write descriptions of your planet's first life forms.

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description (in html format) of how life arose.
  • The written description (in html format) of your life forms. A template is provided.
  • Your computer drawn, or drawn and scanned, pictures of your first life forms.
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   Unit Five Marine Biology:  Seaweeds
 

* Your group will work to

  • think about your first life forms and how they could be joined together
  • Sketch out the joined cells, and work towards forms that can survive in your environments.
  • draw your life forms from stage to stage as they progress into aquatic plants.
  • write descriptions of your aquatic plants.

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • A written description of how your unicellular organisms became multicellular.
  • The written description (in html format) of your plants. A template is provided.
  • Scanned or computer drawn pictures of your plant varieties
  • A computer drawn diagram of how the kinds of plants are related to each other.
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   Unit Six Marine Zoology:  Aquatic Animals

* Your group will work to

  • discuss how your animals came into being, how they move, and what they eat .
  • sketch the developmental phases of your aquatic animals
  • draw a diagram to show how the animals are related to each other
  • write descriptions of the animals, telling how they eat, move, reproduce

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • written descriptions (in html format) of how your animals evolved. A template is provided.
  • written descriptions (in html format) of the individual kinds of animals. A template is provided.
  • computer drawn or scanned drawings of your creatures evolving in stages
  • computer drawn or scanned drawings of your creatures.
  • a computer drawn diagram of how the animals are related
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   Unit Seven Marine Ecology:  Aquatic Communities

* Your group will work to

  • decide how your plants and animals fit together into communities
  • diagram the food chains
  • write a description of the community
  • make some sketches of the animals and plants together
  • add additional plants and animals as needed -- or as you are inspired to do so

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description (in html format) of your aquatic communities. A template is provided.
  • A diagram of the food chain
  • Your sketches in GIF format called into the html.
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   Unit Eight Botany:  Land Plants

* Your group will work to

  • decide how your plants get out onto the land. How do they cope with dehydration? How do they support themselves physically? How do they reproduce? write a description of this process
  • decide which plants grow in which climatic zones
  • Sketch out the plant forms with evolutionary stages
  • diagram the plant evolution
  • sketch the plants and write descriptions of them

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description (in html format) of how your plants get onto the land. A template is provided.
  • Your diagram of plant evolution.
  • Your drawings of the stages of evolution of the plants.
  • The written description (in html format) of different kinds of plants (with sketches) in the different climatic zones
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   Unit Nine Zoology:  Land Animals

* Your group will work to

  • discuss how your animals get out of the ocean. How do they breathe? Cope with dehydration? Compensate for the loss of the support of the water for their body weight? Reproduce? What do they eat?
  • sketch your land animals and show the stages that they have grown through
  • decide which animals will live in the different climatic zones. How do they adapt?
  • write descriptions of your planet's land animals
  • draw a diagram to show how the animal species are related to each other

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • The written description (in html format) of how your animals emerge onto the land and cope with its challenges. A template is provided.
  • sketches of the stages of your animals' evolution
  • Sketches and descriptions of your animals in their different climatic zones
  • A diagram showing how the animal species are related to each other.
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   Unit Ten Ecology:  Communities on Land

* Your group will work to

  • discuss how your animal and plants live together
  • sketch out predator and prey relationships
  • draw some pictures of your animals and plants together
  • add other life forms as desired

* Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • written descriptions (in html) of your planet's ecological communities. A template is provided.
  • diagrams of the food chains
  • pictures of your land animals and plants together.
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   Unit Eleven Share the Newly Created Worlds

This week we will share our completed planets in class.


* Your group should meet before class to prepare for this celebration. Go through your planet's web pages from start to finish as a new explorer would. Consider the comments that may have come to you in the mail. Make any last minute changes that seem necessary.

* You will turn in your self-evaluations at this session. You will

list the contributions that you made to your group's effort each week, whether in research, writing, drawing, model making, creative thinking, computer work, etc. Rough estimates of time spent will be helpful.

answer the following questions
This course has fallen naturally into two parts: physical and biological sciences. What was the most interesting problem that you came upon in each area? Why was this problem interesting to you?

If you were given a chance to build your planet over again, what would you change? Why?

Which assignment in this course was most difficult for you? Why?

What risks did your group take in your planet building? What was your part in this?
 
How would you evaluate your performance in this class?

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1997, 2003, 2004. Elizabeth Anne Viau. All rights reserved. This material may be used freely for instructional purposes but not sold for a price beyond the cost of reproduction. As a courtesy, please inform the author if you use it at
eviau@earthlink.net
Thank you!