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The nature of science  
Instructional Strategies:
Integrated instruction  
Educational Level:
Elementary school  
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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 the phenomenon of ice and about scientific inquiry. Learners will ask scientific questions about ice, will delve into the nature of science, embark upon scientific inquiry, and will practice scientific enterprise. Activities... (View More)

This is a detailed historical lesson about comets, distant icy worlds often visible to observers on Earth. Learners will consider the essential question, "What are comets?" They will practice observation and "noticing" skills as they enact a story... (View More)

This is a detailed lesson about space and how Earth fits in it. Learners will consider the essential question, "What is space?" Activities include small group miming, speaking, drawing, and/or writing about space and the evidence for ice in space.... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (View More)

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More)

This is a lesson about Saturn. Learners will organize their knowledge of Saturn and Cassini to prepare to write one of the following types of nonfiction for their final piece: descriptive (poetry), compare and contrast, or summary. This is lesson 11... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this concluding activity, learners will use notes from an earlier lesson to write a nonfiction piece about Saturn or Cassini. These final projects provide a way for children with varying learning styles to consolidate and share their learning.... (View More)

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