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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
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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)

This is a lesson about research tools and skills. Learners will explore the features of Mars through a demonstration of Google Earth Mars, gather, and analyze data from multiple sources on the internet as well as print sources, develop and use... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson introduces students to Mars’ history through research and discussion. Students read about the history of Mars, Mars observing, and exploration with telescopes and robotic spacecraft. After learning about Mars, students consider how... (View More)

This lesson introduces students to Mars as we know it today. Using Google Earth/Mars and the recommended reading, students will compare and contrast Earth and Mars using graphic organizers. Includes background, separate student pages, and... (View More)

This is a lesson about using evidence to construct sequences of geologic events. Learners will interpret real NASA science data to identify features on the surface of Mars, determine the surface history of the area, calculate the size of features,... (View More)

Learners will read about Mars and then examine an unknown sample (such as a sandwich or "fun size" chocolate bar) to determine if the sample could have come from Mars. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas... (View More)

This is a lesson about the definition of planet. Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union’s definition of... (View More)

This is a series of hands-on activities comprised of fieldwork and lab work about the basics of soil science. Learners record soil context descriptions, measure soil moisture, describe soil color, structure, consistency, and texture and conduct... (View More)

This activity is about Mars and the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth. Learners will compare physical properties of Earth to those of Mars and investigate images of features on Mars to try to find similar features in images of the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about solar system exploration. Learners will understand that combining information gathered by a variety of robots gives us a more comprehensive understanding of our solar system. Learners will explore a planet made up of a... (View More)

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