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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 resource complements a planetarium experience. However, the accompanying educator's guide and companion guides - with lessons on observing and investigating the Moon - are available to download for independent classroom use. The hands-on... (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 enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (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 simulation exercise, students determine where to place a hosptial using a classified land cover map to make environmentally sound land use decisions. Results are presented in a mock town hall meeting. A student worksheet is included within... (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 the introductory lesson to Astro-Venture. Learners will be introduced to the overall goals and concepts of Astro-Venture and given the background information for the Astronomy unit and final project. Students research the requirements for... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about habitable planets. Learners will discuss what they know about the astronomical conditions of the planets they have found in earlier lessons and what they still need to know in order to determine if they are habitable to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school