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Lesson or lesson plan  
Topics/Subjects:
Earth processes  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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Students analyze and interpret the accompanying large-format images of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera. The analysis involves identifying geologic features, calibrating the size of those features, and... (View More)

This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)

Students work in groups to investigate one of the following factors driving climate change: greenhouse gases, sea level rise and melting sea ice. The investigation involves conducting an experiment, connecting to real-world data and presenting a... (View More)

Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (View More)

In this lesson students use climatograms from different U.S. locations to observe patterns in temperature and precipitation. After describing geographical features near these locations, they will use graphs to compare and find patterns in the... (View More)

This investigation is based on the GISP2 H-core data collected in 1992 adjacent to the GISP2 Greenland summit drill site. Students examine the seasonal/annual nitrate record and use information from known volcanic eruptions to date the unique... (View More)

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to express their ideas through literature. Teachers will read a story on clouds to students, then take students outside to observe actual clouds. Students will create drawings of what they see,... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Through a series of interactive multimedia activities, animations, videos, and online lessons, students develop an understanding of permafrost and its connections to climate change. NASA data from space, suborbital, and ground platforms are... (View More)

In conjunction with discussions on atmospheric CO2, timescales, and proxy data, students will make, dissect, and analyze an ice core. The activity allows students to study changes in Earth’s atmospheric composition and temperature on millennial to... (View More)

Emphasis is placed on preparing for severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and blizzards. Following classroom discussion and internet research, students prepare and present a product (brochure, poster, video, etc.) on the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Clouds serve as a theme in a series of linked introductory explorations in math, language arts, and science. After participating in a demonstration of cloud formation, students are directed to create an acrostic poem (a poem that uses the letters in... (View More)

This problem-based learning module asks students to consider how future climate change could impact the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. They are tasked with studying the trends and impacts of hurricanes on coastal regions. They proceed by... (View More)

Learners will investigate how much you can learn about something just by looking at it. In Activity 1, students study aerial photographs to identify geologic features, determine how they differ from one another, and examine the processes involved in... (View More)

This lesson includes four activities. Activity 1 introduces concepts related to distance, including length and height and units of measurement. Students are asked to make comparisons of distances. In activity 2, students work with a graph and plot... (View More)

This resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (View More)

In this data activity, students explore trends in cloud coverage over Toronto, Ontario, Canada and learn about different cloud types. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the formation of glaciers, ice layering and stratigraphy, and the cryosphere and cryobotics. Learners will collect evidence of layering, explore the science story that layering tells, study snow and ice for insights into... (View More)

Learners will investigate how water and ice exist in the atmosphere as they study water vapor condensing, find that clouds are made of tiny droplets of water, and notice that snow forms in clouds. Activities include demonstrations by the teacher,... (View More)

Working in pairs, students will create experimental conditions in terrariums in order to study what plants need to live. Variables to study include the presence or absence of soil, water, and sunlight. Students will record the growth of radish... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

In this lesson, learners explore the steps in the carbon cycle and draw conclusions about the importance of the carbon cycle in the planetary temperature system. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes... (View More)

Keywords: Carbon cycle
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson where learners trace the path that atoms take as they change form and move throughout the cycle of matter and compare this to the flow of energy. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes... (View More)

Keywords: Biology
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the effects of large impacts. Learners will use critical thinking skills to evaluate and apply data from a narrative to a scientific selection process, will demonstrate or visualize simulations of some of the effects of a huge... (View More)

Keywords: Meteorites
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about locating impact craters on Earth using longitude, latitude, and maps. Learners will observe impact craters on Earth and other solar system bodies, discuss geologic forces that have erased much of the evidence of past impacts,... (View More)

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