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Interactive
American Museum of Natural History

Planetary Mysteries

For Students 6th - 12th
A website all about planetary mysteries—it's a one-stop-shop for all things, stars, planets, and space travel. Scholars read an astronomy overview to discover the page's big ideas, then choose from the plethora of resources, including...
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Activity
Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Toilet Paper Solar System

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Can we model how large the solar system really is? Attempt an astronomical feat with a hands-on-activity that uses a roll of toilet paper. Young scientists measure the distances of the planets from the sun to create a scale model of the...
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Unit Plan
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NASA

The Science of the Sun

For Teachers K - 6th Standards
There's more to that glowing ball of light in sky than most children realize. From the overall structure of the solar system, to the changing of the seasons, these hands-on lessons open the eyes of young scientists to the important role...
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Lesson Plan
California Academy of Science

Kinesthetic Astronomy: Mars Opposition Dance

For Teachers 3rd - 8th Standards
Your class will watch as one child orbits the sun as Earth, while another orbits as Mars. If the timing is right, they will see the repetitive dance between the two planets and discover how often they are opposite from each other. For...
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Lesson Plan
California Academy of Science

Kinesthetic Astronomy: Birthday Stars

For Teachers 3rd - 8th Standards
Space explorers take a virtual trip around the sun right within your classroom! They stand in a circle facing away from the "sun" (a lamp) in the center of the room. As they move according to your instructions, they view different...
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Activity
NASA

Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Calculate the movement and properties of planets like professional astronomers! Scholars use Kepler's third law to find Mercury and Venus's distance from the sun. Using changes in brightness of distant stars and Kepler's third law,...
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Lesson Plan
University of Colorado

Star Light, Star Bright? Finding Remote Atmospheres

For Teachers 6th - 9th Standards
People might be able to breath there. Learners view a simulation of a planet passing in front of a star. Using data from occultations of planets with known types of atmospheres, scholars determine whether the simulated planet has an...
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Interactive
McGraw Hill

Retrograde Motion

For Students 9th - Higher Ed
How does Mars move both eastward and westward in Earth's sky? A simple interactive describes the concept of retrograde motion using both color and graphic models. Learners understand that the speed of the orbit accounts for Mars' change...
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Interactive
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Orbit Simulator

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Researchers think they have evidence of a new planet deep in our solar system that is the size of Neptune and orbits the sun far beyond Pluto. The orbit simulator shows the orbits of our well-known planets, as well as Pluto and the comet...
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PPT
Urbana School District

Gravitation

For Teachers 11th - Higher Ed
Introduction your class to famous astronomers with a presentation that also covers Newton's Laws of Gravitation, Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, both uniform and nonuniform gravitational fields, and how to calculate the gravitational...
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Lesson Plan
Journey Through the Universe

Our Solar System

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
Take your class on a journey through our solar system. Learners explore each planet, from Mercury to Pluto, and discuss various features that differentiate one from another. They complete activities related to the topics and discuss the...
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Lesson Plan
Voyage Solar System

Round and Round We Go — Exploring Orbits in the Solar System

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
Math and science come together in this cross-curricular astronomy lesson plan on planetary motion. Starting off with a hands-on activity that engages the class in exploring the geometry of circles and ellipses, this lesson plan then...
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Activity
Illustrative Mathematics

Solar Eclipse

For Teachers 9th - 11th Standards
Learners take on the role of astronomers, calculating conditions necessary for a total solar eclipse. Concepts of similar triangles and properties of circles come together as pupils create ratios and use real measurements in determining...
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Worksheet
Curated OER

Universal Gravity and Kelper's Laws Worksheet

For Students 9th - 12th
High school physicists apply their knowledge of planetary motion. Using Kepler's three laws, Newton's law of universal gravitation, and the provided properties of the moon, sun, and Earth, they proceed to solve 23 problems. An answer key...
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Assessment
University of Washington

Kepler’s Laws

For Students 9th - 12th
Introduce your physics or astronomy class to Kepler's laws of planetary motion with this straightforward instructional activity. It covers the basic concepts of each and has learners answer questions to demonstrate their grasp on them....
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Interactive
Physics Classroom

Kelper's Three Laws

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
A flipped classroom lesson introduces astrophysics fanatics to Kepler's three laws of planetary motion. After reading about the laws of ellipses, equal areas, and harmonies, and also learning how Newton's gravitation concepts come into...
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Activity
BW Walch

Kelper's Second Law: How Do Planets Move?

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Kepler's second law of planetary motion, specifically, the law of equal areas, is demonstrated by your high schoolers. On the provided graph paper, they mark out the designated path of Earth at two different times of the year and then...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Planet Paths: Studying Planetary Orbital Paths

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Students define and identify planetary orbit, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola, and simulate Kepler's Second Law. They explore interactive websites demonstrating orbital motion and complete modeling activities.
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Our Solar System

For Teachers 7th - 10th
Learners analyze the theories of the formation of the universe and solar system. Students analyze planetary motion and the physical laws that explain that motion: Rotation, Revolution, Apparent diurnal motions of the stars, sun, and...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Charting Seasonal Changes

For Teachers 6th - 10th
Young scholars research the Earth's patterns of rotation and revolution, create a chart and graph of these patterns and use them to explain the causes of night and day and summer and winter.
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Motion of the Sun and Earth: Using a Playground Model to Explore Rotation and Revolution

For Teachers 1st - 3rd
Students experience the rotation of the Earth and the Sun and the Earth's revolution around the Sun, using a playground mode.
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Motion of the Sun and Earth: Using a Classroom Model to Explore Rotation and Revolution

For Teachers 1st - 3rd
Students use a concrete model of the Sun and Earth to observe and manipulate a 3-D model of the Sun and Earth.
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Lesson Plan
University of Arizona

The Exotic Vacation

For Teachers 5th - 8th
Students explain the concepts and vocabulary of Earth's rotation. They plan imaginary vacations based on the seasons in different locations. This is a very creative lesson plan, which students enjoy.
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Stellarium

For Teachers 5th - 8th
Students explore the rotation of the planets from various locations on Earth Using planetarium software, they will make observations, and explain how the rotation of the planets varies based on ones location on the Earth. Students...