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Earth Activities
The lessons below are teacher-favorite lessons focused on Earth. For more search options or to search by other science target, missions and other criteria, visit our Fast Lesson Finder. You can also search by curriculum standards on our popular Curriculum Standards Quilts.


Earth Lessons:

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The Penny Moon and Quarter Earth
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Apollo (Earth's Moon), Earth Science (Earth), Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: The students will use a penny and a quarter to model the Moon's rotation on its axis and revolution around the Earth, and demonstrate that the Moon keeps the same face toward the Earth


The Transit of Mercury
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Sun, Mercury, Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth), Heliophysics (Sun), Mariner 10 (Mercury), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: As seen from Earth, the planet Mercury occasionally passes across the face of the sun; an event that astronomers call a transit. From images taken by the Hinode satellite, students will create a model of the solar disk to the same scale as the image, and calculate the distance to the sun.


The Water Cycle - Now You See It, Now You Don't
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Elementary students learn about the relationship between temperature and condensation.


Unveiling Titan's Surface
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Venus, Earth, Titan
Mission: Cassini (Saturn)

Short Description: Students will make measurements of topographic features and to draw maps based on these data. This will be done in a way that is analogous to making radar measurements of topography through vegetation (on Earth) or through clouds (on Venus, Titan and Earth).


Using MY NASA DATA to Determine Volcanic Activity
Grade Level: 9-12
Solar System Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Students use NASA satellite data of optical depth as a tool to determine volcanic activity on Reunion Island during 2000-2001.


Volcanoes are a Blast: Working with Simple Equations
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: Less Than 30 Minutes
Solar System Body: Earth, Asteroids, Earth's Moon, Enceladus
Mission: ARM (Asteroids), Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon)

Short Description: Students examine the famous Krakatoa explosion, asteroid impacts on the moon and geysers on Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) using three equations that describe the height of the plume and initial velocity to answer questions about the speed of the debris and terminal height.


What Are We Made Of?
Grade Level: 6-8
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Earth
Mission: Genesis (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students learn that elements are the basic building blocks of all things found on Earth and in space including water, the human body, the Earth, the sun, and the planets. By counting elements extracted from a simulated sample, students explore how the extraction of atoms from the Genesis samples help scientists have a better understanding of the abundances of elements from the solar wind. This hands-on experience helps students discover that the elemental abundances from the sun can be used as a baseline to compare with the diverse bodies of our solar system.


What Makes Day and Night?
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Sun, Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth), Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: In this demonstration of day and night, students learn kinesthetically as they take on the role of the Earth orbiting the rotating sun.


What Makes Shadows?
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5
Lesson Time: 30-60 Minutes
Solar System Body: Sun, Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth), Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: Students learn about shadows as they observe and draw the shadow of a classmate.


What's the Difference?
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Solar System Body: Earth, Mars
Mission: InSight (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: This is a free multimedia software application that facilitates scientific analysis by allowing virtually any pictures, graphics, animations and movies to be compared side by side. The solar system dataset contains comparisons of the planets and major moons within our solar system. Users can upload graphical, animated, interactive, textual, and audio-formatted content into the categories and attributes grid and then supplement their data with customized multiple choice and summary assessment tests.

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Last Updated: 28 Apr 2014