Shrieking with Excitement Over the Solar System by Vicki Cobb (STEM and NGSS aligned)

by  Authors on Call, iNK Think Tank

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This fresh, new approach to a unit on the solar system combines the excitement of an author visit with Vicki Cobb with the advantages of having her as author-in-residence to produce real student learning and achievement. It meets all CCSS, STEM standards and curriculum requirements while turbocharging your students' learning.

It begins with Vicki Cobb's conversation with the teachers pointing out how we know about the solar system by observing two things in the sky:
Points of light
From this information we come to understand the forces that allow a solar system to exist and how we have tools that reveal its secrets to us. By properly setting the stage, students shriek with excitement as they discover the wonders of the heavens.

Program Rating

This program has not yet been evaluated.

About This Program


By Request: $1500.00
By Request Premium: $1350.00

Half of the fee is due on booking the program, the other half is due on completion.
This program is an iNK Class ACTS program. It is one Class ACTS unit consisting of 2 hours of videoconferencing per school (1-3 teachers), written support from the author on a wiki, a teacher's guide and pdfs of questions for instructional purposes.

One Class ACTS unit is $1500, two per school is $2500, three or more per school is $1200 per unit. The price does not include the cost of books, which can be furnished at a discount.


3 thirty minute videoconferences with Vicki Cobb to be scheduled according to the school's needs.

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6

Minimum participants:

one class and teacher

Maximum participants:

Two classes of students, two teachers

Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Literacy, Mathematics, Problem Solving, Reading, Sciences, Social Studies/History, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

This is an instructional program for a unit on the solar system for grades 3-6 over a period of weeks. It is cross-listed under professional development providers. It involves the following elements: -A half-hour video conference for teachers to meet author Vicki Cobb to gain an overview of the teaching strategies for this unit. Vicki is the 2012 recipient of the american Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lifetime Achievement Prize for her hands-on science writing. -A series of two half-hour video conferences where students meet Vicki Cobb. -Close reading of Vicki's inquiry-driven book What's the BIG Idea? (one copy is provided as part of this program, also available in print and e-book formats.) -A teachers guide from Vicki Cobb outlining the program -as-needed personal guidance from Vicki Cobb via a wiki or email -Primary source research on the NASA website using a computer lab

Sorry, this program is not currently available. To inquire about future availability, please contact Authors on Call, iNK Think Tank

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Since this is a program that takes place over a period of time, we can be flexible about scheduling. We provide a contract that clearly spells out what this program entails.

About This Provider

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Authors on Call, iNK Think Tank

White Plains, NY
United States

The Common Core State Standards have focused attention on process and using nonfiction in the classroom. Our Authors on Call from iNK Think Tank embody the CCSS. This team uses their extraordinary breadth of knowledge to transform today's classrooms into vital centers of learning. These authors are experts in processing enormous amounts of information, sifting through it and synthesizing it into works with added value. So why not talk to these masters of 21st century skillsand let them unpack their process for your students? They are eager to share their knowledge with you and to help you inspire your students with books kids love to read about subjects you're required to teach. So far our authors include Jan Adkins, Vicki Cobb,  Roxie Munro, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent,Carla Killough McClafferty, Kerrie Hollihan, Aline Alexander Newman, David M. Schwartz, Alexandra Siy,  Peggy Thomas, Marissa Moss, Jan Adkins, and Andrea Warren. Keep coming back as we add more authors and new programs.

Vicki Cobb

Program Details


This program allows the students to establish a relationship with Vicki Cobb over a period of time both through her book and the initial video conference. The emphasis in the CCSS is on process, the same processes a writer and a scientist use to research and write a book. In this unit, the students are doing the same things Vicki does when she researches and writes her books so she can "unpack" the processes for them in a meaningful way


The participants will:
-experience the mystery that is revealed by scientific questioning.
-do close reading to understand ideas.
-understand that how we know in science determines what we know.
-discover the excitement of discovery from primary material actually used by scientists.
-be motivated to read difficult primary source material and collaborate with other students to make sure everyone understands it.
-put their own voices into the material the write about
-discover for themselves why scientists LOVE science.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NS K-4, NS 5-8 Science as Inquiry
NS K-4, NS 5-8 Unifying concepts and processes in science.
NS K-4, NS 5-8 Physical Science
NS K-4, NS 5-8 Earth and Space Science
NS K-4, NS 5-8 Science and technology
NS K-4, NS 5-8 Science in personal and social perspectives