Strange New Planet

This Strange New Planet lesson plan also includes:

The first remote sensors were people in hot air balloons taking photographs of Earth to make maps. Expose middle school learners to space exploration with the use of remote sensing. Groups explore and make observations of a new planet by flying by, orbiting, and landing. They then discuss their different observations to round out this 14th lesson in a series of 22. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Activity fits in a unit on space, exploration, or on the scientific method and focuses on making good observations
  • Make two to three new planets ahead of time (in case one is somehow destroyed during the day) to increase time spent on activity/discussion
Classroom Considerations

  • Materials are household items, not scientific, and there are quite a few to gather
Pros

  • Engages pupils because they make observations in a new way (short amounts of time and orbiting the object)
  • Great simulation of space exploration and its limitations
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS