Small Body Classification

Is an asteroid the same thing as a meteor? What about a comet? Learn the differences between small celestial bodies with a worksheet that lists several characteristics and space for kids to note which belongs to a comet, asteroid, or meteor. The second part of the worksheet addresses the differences between planets, dwarf planets, and asteroids.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Use after a lesson or activity about small celestial bodies
  • A great addition to an astronomy unit
  • Have kids conduct research on asteroid and planets on a computer lab day, and discover the answers for the worksheet themselves
  • Put kids into groups based on each celestial body addressed (asteroid group, comet group, meteor group, etc), and have them put a presentation together about their body's characteristics while classmates fill out the appropriate parts of the worksheet
Classroom Considerations

  • Doesn't provide information for kids to refer to, so they'll need to rely on your lecture or their own research
  • Printing in black-and-white may impede understanding, as some of the pictures show specific details of planets and asteroids
Pros

  • Thorough and straightforward; a great study guide for an astronomy class
  • Provides charts for kids to complete as well as multiple choice questions and picture identification and classification
Cons

  • None