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Solar system  
Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes  
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This is a unit in 11 sessions about the solar system. Learners will explore the terms planet and moon, they will sort and classify various solar system bodies into categories, and use this context to discuss if Pluto is a planet. They will also... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a unit in 7-8 sessions about objects outside of our solar system, including galaxies and the universe. Learners will investigate the contents of the universe, why light years are used to measure distances in space, the lifespan of a star,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is an activity about searching online data archives for solar wind events. Learners will find at least three episodes of increased solar wind activity impacting Earth using direct measurements of solar wind velocity and density. Then, they will... (View More)

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

This is an activity about the period of the Sun's rotation. Learners will use image of the Sun from the SOHO spacecraft and a transparent latitude/ longitude grid called a Stonyhurst Disk to track the motion of sunspots in terms of degrees of... (View More)

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

This is an activity about using what you can see to identify what you cannot see. Learners will examine images of the Sun taken over one complete solar rotation and look for data features that appear on the farside of the Sun which persist at the... (View More)

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

In this introductory lesson, students will learn the basics of the aurora through small group discussions, reflection and reading. The lesson includes teacher notes and instructions, student workshops and an online, animated story, and related... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students will demonstrate their understanding of the aurora by writing their own poems. Teachers can decide which form(s) of poetry to use from their worksheets or allow students to create their own. Examples of styles include:... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson introduces students to myths about the auroras in different cultures. The class will read a story relating to legends of the aurora and share their reactions to the story. The teacher must select and obtain one or more books from a list... (View More)

Keywords: Language arts
Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this final lesson of the Dancing Lights curriculum, students will reflect on and discuss what they learned about the aurora. First, students will compare what they know now with what they knew at the beginning of the program, and discuss their... (View More)

This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will create physical models using Earth samples to answer the question, "is it more likely that high altitude regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free