Astronomy Lesson Plans & Links
Adopt-A-Constellation (T.(Trimpe) Tomm, Havana Junior High, Havana, IL)
This activity may be used as a stand along project or integrated with an astronomy unit. Students research a constellation using various reference materials (such as internet links, see Kids Links), create a "view" of their constellation, and complete a fact sheet. I allow at least two class periods for this project - one for research and another for constructing the viewer. The viewer makes an excellent assessment tool for tests - challenge students to identify constellations using the viewers created by their classmates.
Student Worksheet: Adopt-A-Constellation (pdf)
Other ideas ...
Excellent Resources: Constellations for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave, Ranger Rick’s Nature Scope: Astronomy Adventures - contains background info and worksheets on an assortment of astronomy topics. Internet Skywatcher’s Diary will provide you with a wealth of constellation info (listed on the astronomy pages of my Kids Zone).
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Great Gravity (T.(Trimpe) Tomm, Havana Junior High, Havana, IL)
During this activity, students explore the gravitational force of other planets and the moon. Before the lab you will need to set up several safe "jumping" areas or choose an outdoor location. I instruct my students that they may take only one step before each jump. The follow-up assignment challenges students to create questions about the lab for their classmates.
Another version of this lab is completed in the 8th grade classes taught by Lauren Range. Her students analyze super balls, tennis balls, and basketballs to determine how high they would bounce on various planets in our solar system.
Student worksheet: Gravity Exploration (pdf)
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Moon Phases (Worksheet created by T. (Trimpe) Tomm for use with the Lunar Lollipops activity)
Student worksheet: Moon Phases (pdf)
Check out "wearable" science projects at ScienceWear.net!
• Astronomy Scavenger Hunt (pdf) - A series of "Who am I?" questions in a crossword format to explore the history of astronomy. Originally contributed by Stacy Baker
• Past and Present Scavenger Hunt (pdf) - Explore Roman and Greek myths and their relationship to astronomy with this worksheet from Stacy Baker.
• Surprise on Mars (pdf) - Worksheet created by Stacy Baker to explore Mars!
Also available ...
• What's Your Sign? (pdf) - Create-A-Word challenge puzzle related to the 12 constellations of the zodiac.
Note For Teachers: Please take time to preview the links on any Internet assignment before you use it with your students. With the ever-changing nature of the Internet, links may be become broken or websites are no longer available. If you find a problem, please send me an e-mail.
Lesson Plan Links
Adler Planetarium Astronomy Connections - Visit the education area for lessons, resources, and other goodies to help you integrate technology into your "space program"!
Amazing Space - This site offers an assortment of lesson plans and web-based activities for astronomy along with a wealth of information for any astronomy unit.
ASU Mars Education Website - Explore this website filled with lots of resources for students and teachers realted to Mars! Visit the Resources area to download a student activity guide that allows them to conduct a student-directed investigation of Mars as scientists in the real world do.
At-Home Astronomy - A great collection of lessons and activities to explore the universe!
CERES Project - Master teachers, university faculty, and NASA researchers have created a series of web-based astronomy lessons for this project. From the life cycle of stars to Mars Quest, you are sure to find new activities to spice up your astronomy unit.
Cosmic Survey (pdf) - Explore distance, age, and size of objects in space using 7 images available at this site. You can also download Worksheets to use with your students. Explore the Learning Resources at Universe for Teachers website for more great ideas!
Exploring Planets in the Classroom - More than 25 hands-on science activities are provided in classroom-ready pages for both teachers and students for exploring Earth, the planets, geology, and space sciences.
Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground - Hundreds of hands-on astronomy-based activities!
Hands-on Astronomy Activities - Visit this page for 25 hands-on lessons exploring topics in astronomy!
LIVE from Mars 2001 - Passport to Knowledge - The new Passport to Knowledge module - Live From Mars 2001 is available at this site. Take the time to visit the site to learn more about the TV programs and lesson ideas for this project.
Math-Science Learning Coalition - Astronomy Lessons - This site offers a wide range of astronomy lessons for elementary, middle school, and high school.
MyScienceSite.com - Teacher Resources - Scroll down the page to find many ready-to-use worksheets and lab ideas for astronomy as well as many other science concepts.
NASA Spacelink - Use this website to start your search of the NASA collection of educational materials, such as classroom lessons, online activities, and multimedia resources.
Proteacher - Space - An assortment of earth science lesson plans and links for elementary teachers.
Rainbow Symphony Lessons- This site offers three lessons for products they offer related to diffraction grating, UV detection beads, and 3D images. My students loved a lab I created about light and spectroscopes for the diffraction grating goggles, which we called "groovy goggles!"
Science-Class.net - Click the link for the "Solar System & Space Travel" or "Cycles in Space" to find new lessons for your classroom!
Science Teaching Ideas - Astronomy - A great site filled with lots of activites for your astronomy unit.
StarDate.org - Take a few moments to browse this site for ready-to-use lesson ideas organized for elementary, middle school, and high school students.
Teacher's Domain - Earth & Space Science - This is an excellent site for multimedia resources for your science curriculum!
Windows to the Universe - Explore this interdisciplinary web site on the Earth and space sciences! Visit the Tools area for a student workbook, table of contents, and other features! Don't miss the Lesson Plan area for great ideas, such as Lunar Lollipops and Sun-Earth Flipbooks.
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