Planetary Motion Teacher Resources
Find Planetary Motion educational ideas and activities
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Development of a Habitable Planet
Students identify and sequence the major events that caused Earth to develop into a habitable planet. They view videos, conduct research, participate in discussions and work in groups to determine the likelihood of other habitable worlds.
Destination Red Planet
Learners explore reasons why people are interested in exploring other planets. After reading an article, they identify developments in the mission to Mars. Using the internet, they research the history of exploring Mars and create a timeline. They write diary entries from the perspective of a scientist.
Charting The Planets
Students conduct different activities in order to unlock the secrets of the universe. They answer different questions that are written to assess knowledge of the planets. Information can be found on the internet to help.
Planets in Our Solar System
Each member of a four-student group takes on a specific aspect of an assigned planet to research. After gathering information, the team works together to create a travel brochure and a presentation intended to convince other classmates to visit their assigned planet. The instructions are given to the group via the Internet, making this a web-based lesson. A pre-test is provided, as well as an assessment rubric. Though it is written as an 8th grade lesson, it can easily be incorporated into your elementary curriculum.
Projectile Motion Review
Launching Fluffy, the Wonder Hamster, in a catapult might not be humane, but imagining the action to analyze projectile motion should be acceptable. This physics resource injects a little silliness, yet is quite serious about assessing learners' understanding! It asks them to write explanations, identify true statements, and solve problems dealing with all sorts of projectiles and orbits. Your physics class will enjoy the challenge as a homework assignment.
Taking a Voyage away from Home
Students experience and participate in a journey through a "Voyage" exhibition of the Solar System and the frontier it covers. They build a dynamic model of the Earth and Sun. Descriptions are given on the relative sizes of the Sun and selected planets and how they are positioned from the Sun.
Gravity and Circular Motion
Go around and around in your physics class with this presentation on circular motion. Diagrams bring the definition to life. Formulas for angular acceleration, centripetal force, gravitation, and potential in a radial field are given. This comprehensive set of slides concludes with an example problem.
Students investigate the planets in our solar system. They conduct research using a variety of resources in order for students to make cognitive connections with the demonstrations made by the teacher. Students discover how to recognize the planets in the night sky, and how planets and stars differ from each other.
Pupils complete an in-depth study of the known planets in the solar system. As a class, students identify the planets that are known in the universe, in the night sky. They explain the differences between planets and stars and the prograde and retrograde motion of the planets.
Planets or Not, Here We Come!
Students, working in groups, research planets in terms of the size, temperature, number of moons, and potential for life. They use packets and worksheets as guides for their research. Students may role-play as aliens visiting their assigned planet and then describing it in an oral presentation.
The Physics of the Planets: How 16th and 17th Century Physicist Helped Us Understand Our Solar System
Eighth graders draw the paths of the planets in the solar system. For this astronomy lesson, 8th graders calculate speed of objects using distance and time information. They research about the work of scientists in the 16th and 17th century.
World In Motion Curriculum
Students explore the night sky and its solar system. Using a Digitarium planetarium system, students observe four constellations. They discover the phases of the moon and eclipses. Students recognize the difference between normal and retrograde planetary motion.
Three, two, one, blastoff! Your physics, astronomy, or engineering class learns about satellite motion, both circular and elliptical, by viewing this set of slides. Explanatory graphics are included to further enhance learning. Several slides provide multiple choice review questions. This slide show is out of this world! The only problem is that the text on a few of the slides overlaps. This problem is simple to remedy and well worth the effort!
Effective and Alternative Secondary Education: Planets in the Solar System
This is a complete packet consisting of three lessons about the origin of the solar system, the sun, and the planets. Work in this packet is meant to be self-directed; learners go at their own pace and instructions direct them on how to proceed through the readings and activities. Each individual lesson consists of reading passages chucked into small sections for easy comprehension and followed by check for understanding and/or inquiry activities. Answers are provided for all the activities.
Meet the Neighbors: Planets Around Nearby Stars
Students explain why a transiting planet causes a periodic dimming in the light from its parent star. They determine the radius of a planet, and its orbital distance, by analyzing data and manipulating equations. Students compare the results obtained for the extrasolar planetary system to our own solar system, and they discuss the major differences.
An Understanding of the Positions of the Planets
Students investigate the positions of the planets relative to Earth and calculate distances and the time needed for radio signals to travel these distances.
Eighth graders identify the forces involved in circular motion. In this physics lesson plan, 8th graders examine centripetal force and inertia by participating in teacher led demos. They give real world application of circular motion.
Gravity and Motion
Students investigate the concepts of gravity and motion, revolution and rotation. In this gravity lesson, students watch a video about gravity. They determine what their ages would be on different planets based on their revolution around the sun. They complete journal entries that show understanding of the concepts.
The Amazing Red Planet
Students discuss the location, size, and interesting facts about Mars. They discover why scientists are so interested in studying this mysterious planet. They analyze the history of Martian exploration.
Describing the Planets
Kids love learning about space! In this short plan, your young Spanish speakers read Los Planetas and talk about the nine planets. By the end, they should be able to name and identify each of the planets and add some descriptive words. Is it a small planet? What color is it? Learners develop vocabulary to describe the planets.