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Reach for the Stars

Chapter 5: Let's Learn English Class V

Learning Module


Students develop their English language skills through a study of astronomy. They learn about the Solar System by interacting in group activities and in the Community discussion forum. They research and explore rhyme in a poem to develop their language skills.


Astronomy, Solar System, Questions, Answers, Research, Word Patterns, Rhyme.

1. The Night Sky

For the Student

Learning Goal: To learn how to ask and answer questions.

Success Criteria:

  • Write a question about the night sky.
  • Read other  groups' questions.
  • Write an answer to one group's question.

Asking questions

Questions usually start with who, why, when, what, or how.  Here are some examples of questions about school.

  • Who is the principal of your school?
  • Why do you study English at your school?
  • When will you finish your homework?
  • What time does school start?
  • What is the name of your teacher?
  • How will you answer all of the questions?
  • How long does it take to travel to school?

Now here is an example of a question and answer about the night sky:

Question: What is the name of the largest planet?

Answer: The name of the largest planet is Jupiter.

Comment: What do you wonder about the night sky? Write your question in the comment box. Read other groups'  questions and answer one if you can.

Fig. 1: The Solar System


For the Teacher

Topic: The Night Sky

Overview of Learning Module

This learning module incorporates blended learning where students interact face-to-face as well as in the online discussion forum, Community, in Scholar.

Structured language activities are also included to complement the online component in Scholar. These may be completed at any time.

Incorporate the home language of the students where appropriate and necessary to support student understanding. Make use of both languages together at first and then move to English alone.

Learning Outcomes Class V (English)

The learner:

  • answers coherently(जुड़कर और तर्कसंगत तरीके से जवाब देता है) in written or oral form to questions in English based on day-to-day life experiences, unfamiliar (अंजान) story, poem heard or read.
  • recites and shares English songs, poems, games, riddles, stories, tongue twisters etc, recites and shares with peers and family members.
  • acts according to instructions given in English, in games/sports, such as ‘Hit the ball!’ ‘Throw the ring.’ ‘Run to the finish line!’ etc.
  • uses meaningful grammatically correct sentences to describe and narrate (बयां करना) incidents, and for framing questions.
  • connects ideas that he/she has inferred (अनुमान लगाना), through reading and interaction (बातचीत), with his/ her personal experiences.
  • attempts to write creatively (stories, poems, posters, etc).
  • appreciates either verbally / in writing the variety in food, dress, customs and festivals as read/heard in his/her day-to day life, in storybooks/ heard in narratives/ seen in videos, films etc.
Focus Group Work Tools Grammar Vocabulary

To talk about and write about  the night sky


T : (Think) Teachers begin by asking a specific question. Students "think" about what they know or have learned about the topic.

P : (Pair) Each student should be "paired" with another student.

S : (Share) Students share their thinking with their partner. Emphasise active listening (eye contact, gestures, commenting). The pair then share with another pair (optional). Teachers may expand the "share" into a whole-class discussion by asking 1-3 students to share what they talked about.

Asking questions

Writing sentences










Solar System

Fig. 2: Think-Pair-Share

1.1. Introduction (5 minutes): Start a discussion with students about the night sky. Use a Think-Pair-Share to discuss:

  • When you look up at a night sky, what do you see? 
  • Does it look the same every day?
  • What does a star and moon look like? 
  • Can we count stars? 
  • Do you see any shapes made by a combination of stars?
  • Have you heard about the Pole Star?

1.2. Engagement: Video and Discussion (15 minutes): Watch the video about stars.

******Insert video how stars shine

Use Think-Pair-Shares to discuss:

  • How do stars twinkle?
  • Do they twinkle in the day time also?
  • Where do stars go in the day time?
  • How far away from earth are stars?

1.3. Activity and Reflection: (20 minutes) 

Firstly, students write questions about what they want to know about stars, under the heading: Things I wonder about stars. The Teacher should help students in writing this and forming questions.

Groups add their questions to the Community discussion forum and comment on other groups' questions - responding to other groups' questions also serves as a reflection activity. Reading other groups' questions and answers will reinforce their learning.

While s are adding their questions to Community, other students can complete their worksheets to draw and colour the night sky. They can also draw the different shapes made by combination of stars, if they know any.

Fig. 3: The Pole Star and Ursa Minor and Major seen from the Hubble Space Telescope

2. Children's Songs and Vocabulary

For the Student

Learning Goal: Find a poem or a children's song and write 2-4 sentences about it.

Success Criteria:

  • Find a poem or children's song.
  • Post a link in the comment box or create your own update and add the video.
  • Say what the poem or video is about and identify at least 2 words that rhyme.
  • Read other groups' posts and comment on 1 or 2. You can identify other words that rhyme or say why you like the poem or video.

Let's listen to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star again - this time with actions.

Media embedded June 20, 2019

The poem is about stars. Two words that rhyme are sky and high. I like this poem because parents sing it to their children to go to sleep. I also like the actions that you can do when you recite or sing the poem. 

Let's look closely at how the sentences start:

  • The poem is about ...........
  • Two words that rhyme are ...........
  • I like this poem because ..............
  • I also like ..............

Comment: What is your  group's children's song or poem? What is it about? What words rhyme?

Read 1-2 other students' posts and comment on them. You can identify other words that rhyme or say why you like the poem or video.

For the Teacher

2. Children's Songs and Vocabulary (2 lessons x 40 minutes)

Focus Group Work Tools Grammar Vocabulary

Read and comprehend a poem

Text Annotation Strategy

Annotating a text is when the reader “marks up” a text to indicate places of importance or something they don’t understand. Sometimes students annotate by circling a word, underlining a phrase or highlighting a sentence. Annotating also includes writing notes in the margin; these notes might be thoughts or questions about the text. This process of annotating helps the reader keep track of ideas and questions and supports deeper understanding of the text.

Rhyming Words






2.1. Introduction: (15 minutes)

Ask students if they know any poem about stars. Show them the video of the nursery rhyme, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. If any student knows this poem, he/she can sing along.

#### Add link to Sterlite video

Say a few rhyming words and ask students to find similarities among them: star, are, high, sky , etc. Help students to see the rhyming pattern in these words and tell them that words ending with same sound are called rhyming words. Note: the spelling patterns might be different.

2.2. Engagement: (20 minutes ) Text Annotation Strategy:

Provide each group of 2-3 students with a printed version of the poem. With a partner, they can annotate the text.  They then share their annotations with another group of 2-3 students. They try to explain to each other what the poem is about. While they are annotating the text, the teacher should move around the room, helping students.

Text Annotation Strategy

Words I do not understand
Underline A sentence I like or think is interesting
Circle Words that rhyme
! Surprising or important information
C Words that you connect to or already know

2.3: Activity (20 minutes): Materials required: Rhyming Words Flash Cards Activity:

Ask students to find rhyming words again in the poem like high - sky, gone - upon. Provide some time to find the rhyming words from the poem and then share it with class.

Divide the class into their Scholar groups of 4-5 students, in which they will be provided with different words and they have to separate the rhyming words and put them together. Students will also think of more rhyming words for those words.

Students share those rhyming words in class. The teacher facilitates this process and helps in telling students more rhyming words.

2.4: Application (10 minutes):  Material required: Worksheet – Rhyming Words Activity:

Provide a worksheet to each student with some words  that students have to write rhyming words.

***** add worksheet and flash cards

Words that can be given in worksheet are - light, near, far, shine, star, high, I, night, sun, day, etc.

2.5: Assessment/Reflection (15 minutes):

Group members can then log into Scholar and complete the activity where they are required to find a children's song or poem and identify any rhyming words. They are also required to read and comment on 1-2 posts by other groups.

3. Creative Writing and Vocabulary Enrichment

For the Student

Learning Goal: To write about an imaginary creature.

Success Criteria:

  • Write your description of an alien in the comment box.
  • Include adjectives.
  • Read other groups' description and comment on 1-2 that you like.

Comment: What does your alien look like? Describe it here. What will you say when you meet your alien?

Then read other groups' descriptions and comment on 1-2.

You could start with: I like your description of an alien because ......................................

Fig. 4: What will your alien look like? What will you say when you meet your alien?


For the Teacher

3. Creative Writing and Vocabulary

Focus Group Work Tools Grammar Vocabulary
Write about an imaginary creature

Inner-Outer Circle

Students form two circles – one circle within the other - with students facing each other.

The teacher poses a question to the students or makes a statement and asks the students what they think about it. Allow them some thinking time. One student makes a statement or asks a question, and then the other student responds or builds on his/her ideas. Students in one of the circles then move one or more steps to the right or left. The teacher then poses the next question or statement, allowing time for thinking and sharing, before asking one of the circles to move again. Vary the activity by asking students to move and then share what they discussed in the previous rotation with their new partner.










Fig. 5: Inner-Outer Circle

3.1. Introduction and Engagement (15 minutes)

In an Inner-Outer Circle, engage students in a space related discussion by asking:

  • What do all heavenly bodies in space consist of?
  • How many planets are there?
  • Do you think there is life on other planets?
  • Is star really ‘little’ or does it appear it to us so?
  • How would earth look from space?
  • Can we travel to space?
  • How can we travel to space?
  • Would you like to travel to space?
  • Is the moon round or does it change its shape?
  • What is the shape of star like?
  • Would you like to go to space?
  • What do you think people from other space would look like?

Introduce the word “alien” which means creature from other planets. Continue asking questions and encourage students to use their imaginations:

  • What would they look like?
  • Will they be friendly or harmful to us?
  • What will you do if you meet them?
  • What wil you say to your alien?
  • Do you think they will have supernatural powers?

3.2. Application (15 minutes) Material required: Worksheet Activity:

Students draw and colour an alien based on their imagination.

After drawing an alien, students write a few sentences describing the alien, giving it a name of their choice. For example: The alien is huge. It is blue in colour. It has big nose/ears and it is friendly/dangerous.

Help students to form sentences using describing words like huge, small, big, dangerous, etc.

Students then form their Scholar groups and share their descriptions of aliens. They try to combine individual students' ideas into a combined written description of  an alien. They add this to the Community discussion forum in Scholar. They read other groups' descriptions and comment on 1-2, explaining why they like them.

3.3. Assessment/Reflection (10 minutes)

Think-Pair-Share: Ask students to share  what they would tell aliens about earth if they met them. For example, earth is a planet; human beings and animals live on earth; there are trees, rivers and mountains on earth, etc. Once a pair have shared, they find another pair and share their ideas. This will encourage active use of English.

4. Finding Out More About Space

For the Student

Learning Goal: To learn about the solar system.

Success Criteria:

  • Create an update.
  • Add 3-5 facts and a picture.
  • Comment on at least one other update.

In your Scholar group go the website on The Solar System and click on the picture of the planet that you have been assigned to research. As a group, look at the information and decide on 3-5 facts. Create an update and add the information and a picture. All students in the group must understand the information so you can teach others in other groups. 

  1. Jupiter
  2. Mars
  3. Saturn
  4. Venus
  5. Mercury
  6. Earth
  7. Neptune
  8. Pluto
  9. Uranus

Comment: What is the most interesting fact that you learned?

Now select another group's update and comment on it. Use these sentence starters:

I found out about ..........

I liked the information about ......

Fig. 6: The Planets

For the Teacher

4. Finding Out More About Space

Focus Group Work Tools Grammar Vocabulary
Use new vocabulary related to space 

Inner-Outer Circle



In his activity students become experts on different aspects of one topic of study. They then reform their groups to teach others.

Firstly, students form Expert Groups (use a numbered heads strategy below to form the groups) to focus on learning about one topic (for example, Jupiter, one of the planets) and how best to teach it to others.

When they are “expert”, they regroup into their Cooperative Groups to teach and learn from fellow students who are expert on the other topics (for example, Mars or Earth).

Finally, there can be a whole-class discussion.

Numbered Heads

Students are numbered by the teacher, e.g. 1-4.  All the 1s form a group; all the 2s form a group, all the 3s form a group and so forth. This is useful for organising group activities such as jigsaws.











Fig. 7: Jigsaw based on Groups of 4

4.1: Introduction (10 minutes):

Using an Inner-Outer Circle, ask students:

  • What planets do you know?
  • What other heavenly bodies do you know? (stars, comets, moons, asteroids, meteors etc)
  • What are people who travel to space called?
  • How do people travel to space?
  • Can we breathe there? 
  • Can we go to moon?
  • Do you know the first person who went to moon?
  • Do you know the name of any Indian astronaut?
  • What preparations do an astronaut need to travel into space?

As students might not know answers to all these questions, help them by probing and helping them to think about it, like how astronaut would live in space. Also answer fact related questions like the names of astronauts.

4.2: Engagement: (15 minutes) Material required: Video, Space related words flash cards

Show a video related to space and ask students related questions about what they see in the video. 

Media embedded June 20, 2019

Show different flash cards with pictures and names written on it related to space, which can include the following: 1. Sun 2. Moon 3. Earth 4. Planets 5. Stars 6. Astronaut 7. Space Shuttle 8. Alien 9. Satellite 10. Rocket 11. Telescope 12. Solar system 13. Comet 14. Space saucer 15. names of planets. Some of this will be revision based on prior learning activities.

Show each card and will discuss briefly about each card like while showing telescope flash card, it can be explained that it is used to see objects that far away and helps to see the objects in sky clearly, etc.

After telling about each card, teacher will show the flash cards again and students will tell the name of each picture shown in the card.

4.3. Application: (10 minutes): Jigsaw Activity on the Planets

Form Scholar groups. They go the website on The Solar System and click on the image of the planet they have been assigned to research. As a group, they look at the information and decide on 3-5 facts. Then, they create an update in the community and addsthe facts and a picture.

 All students in the group must understand the information as they will have to explain it when they go to their Cooperative Groups to teach others about Jupiter. 

Allocate planets to the other groups. Do not be concerned if all the planets are not covered.

  1. Jupiter
  2. Mars
  3. Saturn
  4. Venus
  5. Mercury
  6. Earth
  7. Neptune
  8. Pluto
  9. Uranus

Now use a Numbered Heads strategy to number students in each group. At the sharing stage, all the 1s group together and take turns to share what they have learnt about their planet. Each  group is given a computer so the "Expert" can refer to the facts they have recorded. 

After the sharing, students can comment individually on one update that interested them. 

4.4. Assessment/Reflection: (5 minutes)

Use a Think-Pair-Share to discuss space related questions such as:

  • How many planets are there?
  • What is one interesting fact that you learned about the planets?
  • How can we see things that are far away?
  • What is the person called who goes to space?
  • Can you name any Indian astronaut?


Title: (Source); Fig. 1: Solar System (Source); Fig. 2: Think-Pair-Share (Source); Fig.3: Star Combinations (Source); Fig. 4: Alien (Source); Fig. 5: Inner-Outer Circle (Source); Fig. 6: Planets (Source); Fig. 7: Jigsaw (Source).