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Solar system  
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Informative text  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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This is a lesson about the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon. Participants will work in groups of two or three to build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. They will use the model to demonstrate that the Earth is protected from... (View More)

After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading

In this lesson, students imagine Mars to be a future vacation destination, and will need to encourage people to come and visit. Students will create a scripted travel video or commercial, or construct a brochure or website to convince people to... (View More)

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 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)

This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to plan a mission to explore another world in the Solar System. Learners will discuss the path of a spacecraft traveling between planets, examining the journey from the Earth to Mars as an example. In Activity 1, students... (View More)

This is a lesson about the temperature on differnt planets in our solar system. Learners will explore the planetary temperature system. They explore how each aspect (e.g., mass, temperature and gravity) influences the system and the consequences of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about visual analysis. Learners will describe images and then compare their descriptions to ones that scientists wrote. Doing this helps them see how scientists study planets that are millions of miles away. Finally they are asked... (View More)

Keywords: Visual analysis
Audience: Middle school