Go straight to the Source: Newton and Wilkins


Wilkins, John. 1640. A discourse concerning a new world & another planet. Frontispiece.
A discourse concerning a new world & another planet. Frontispiece. Wilkins, John. 1640.

Lesson Plan

Grade Levels:


Duration of lesson:

2-3 days

Content Standards: 

Scientific Inquiry B, Earth and Space Science  B , C, Nature of Science 1, 5,8

Primary Sources: 

A Newton Manuscript Page (reproduced from P. Westfall, Never at Rest (1980)) 

Lesson Summary:

Students will work in groups to read, discuss, and review the Scientific Revolution using secondary and primary sources. This is a great lesson to use during Right to Read Week

Instructional Steps:

1. Reserve Science Books related to this lesson from your school librarian for a wide range of reading levels.
2. Divide students in groups with the library books to scan and record information to discuss with class.
3. Provide each group with copies of the  Newton Manuscript Page and   to decipher and discuss.
4. Provide each group with copies of the illustration from A Discourse Concerning a New World and   to decipher and discuss.
5. Groups share knowledge gained through discussion at end of each activity.
6. Students will compare and contrast information recorded at the beginning and end of activity.

Teaching Materials needed: 

Enough library books to have 2-3 available for each group, copies of A Discourse Concerning a New World, copies of A Newton Manuscript, copies of Image Analysis Worksheet, copies of Document Analysis Worksheet. 
Created by Violet Cummings, substitute teacher, Olentangy Local Schools, Ohio