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Instructional Strategies:
Identifying similarities and differences  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Planetary Science  
Materials Cost:
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Students "observe" an imaginary new planet in our galaxy from the relative distances of a ground-based telescope, the Hubble Telescope, and a fly-by mission. After recording their observations and discussing the differences, they compare their... (View More)

Common materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles, shells, etc. are used to represent crustal materials from an unknown planet. Students begin by sorting, classifying, and making observations about the sample. Using that information, they must then... (View More)

Each lesson or activity in this toolkit is related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The toolkit is designed so that each lesson can be done independently, or combined and taught in a sequence. The Teacher Implementation Guide provides... (View More)

Learners select from a variety of fruits to construct a scale model of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. After determining the correct sizes and distances for their models, they remove the Moon. They consider what it would be like if the nearby Moon were no... (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 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)

This is an activity about modeling and the scientific process. Learners will discuss the models they created in the previous three activities as models of forces that shape the surface of planets, and talk about the similarities and differences... (View More)

Keywords: Mars

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 the distance to Saturn. Learners will use simple props to create a playground model for size and distance for the Sun, Earth, and Saturn - then walk on their scale model to Saturn. Writing activities engage students in... (View More)

This is an activity about the formation of regolith, the loose fragmental material on the Moon's surface. Learners will engage in a series of hands-on activities comparing and contrasting regolith formation processes on the Moon and on Earth. This... (View More)

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