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Educational Level:
Grade 5  
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Student guide  
Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
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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 Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

This is a lesson about radiation and the use of the scientific method to solve problems of too much radiation. Learners will build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit (designed to block unwanted light, while increasing the viewer's... (View More)

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

This investigation uses three sources of information - images from space, a relief map, and a road map - to analyze the spatial distribution of human settlements. Students will use a nighttime image of the northeastern U.S. to reinforce spatial... (View More)

The 1992 eruption of Alaska's Mt. Spurr was captured in satellite images along with photographs taken from the Space Shuttle. Students will analyze those images and photos to determine the correlation between different types of data, in this case... (View More)

Thermal images of Earth allow for the visualization and analysis of temperature differences. With the aid of ATLAS thermal images of a shopping mall in Huntsville, Alabama, students examine the impact of the addition of buildings and the loss of... (View More)

Remote sensing offers three perspectives on human or physical features: aerial (birds-eye), oblique (angled) and ground-level. Sketching a classroom object from each of the three perspectives provides students with the foundation to then complete... (View More)

Similar features exist on the surfaces of Earth and Mars. This investigation includes satellite images of five Earth features and five Martian features, none of which are labeled. Students must compare and contrast those images to produce five... (View More)

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