Aerospace and Astronomy


Lesson Plans ~ Thematic Units ~ Online Activities ~ WebQuests ~


Lesson Plans

Aerospace Experiments - really fun activities for the students!

Amazing Space is a set of web-based activities primarily designed for classroom use

Astronomy in a Puddle-Teach at what point the sun is in the sky by using a reflective puddle.

Astronomy With a Stick-Teach students about the sun's shadow and the changing of seasons.

Astronomy With Glass-This activity shows what happens when light passes through two unparalleled sides.

Astronomy With Air-Why do stars glimmer? This activity uses lenses to illustrate the glittering of stars.

Aurora Borealis: What Creates These Shimmering Celestial Lights?

Birthday Moons - Students become familiar with lunar phases by locating and then graphing the Moon phase of their own birthdays. After listening and discussing lunar myths and legends they create their own Birthday Moon Stories.

Collecting Micrometeorites


Counting the Stars-An activity where sky charts are made to estimate how many stars are visible in the night sky.

Cratering in Your Classroom

Crazy Craters - students do a variety of activities to simulate how cratering occurs by dropping and throwing objects at a chocolate-powder surface on top of flour.

Distances in the Solar System- This exercise uses familiar distances and relates them to astronomical distances so that students can sense their reality.

Edible Rocks Teacher Page From Exploring Meteorite Mysteries

Exploring Planets in the Classroom - wonderful hands-on activities!

Finding Your Way Around the Sky- This activity teaches how to locate certain stars and constellations by using longitude and latitude in the earth's sky.

First Look at the Night Sky- This lesson provides a road map to the world of stars. Students can learn to identify the sky's brightest stars.

Flying Machine - The students will create an air floater which will take the longest time to remain afloat. (Gr. 4-7)

How to See Around Corners-Students observe a ray of light penetrating glass and then predict where the ray of light will hit the surface.

Impact Cratering: Students drop projectiles into a tray of sand, make craters on various types of surfaces, and measure their results

Invent an Alien: This classic activity by Dennis Schatz asks students to invent a more-or-less plausible life form that could survive on one of the moons and planets in our solar system.

The K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook  - Aeronautics lesson plans, sign language demos, activities, the dynamics of tennis balls, and aerospace careers are just a few of the selections available at this site. Through an agreement with NASA the University of California at Davis has developed these educational materials on beginner, intermediate, and advanced grade levels for classroom teachers. Be sure and check out the mythology section for aerospace related activities.

K-8 Aeronautics Lessons - These lessons are designed to complement the K-8 Aeronautics Textbook developed in cooperation with NASA. They provide a set of lessons keyed to the material presented at the site.

Kids on Mars

Live From Mars- Become a classroom that participates in this exciting Live From Mars project! It enhances student understanding of the climate, atmosphere, and geology of Mars as well.

Luna and Io: A Comparison Study

Make a Comet Nucleus

Making a Comet in the Classroom - neat activity for middle school students

Making a sun clock lesson plan -Instructions for building a sun-clock, using their print-out and a compass, to measure local solar time.

Meteors: What Are Meteors and Where Do They Come From?

The Moon- This lesson has a detailed explanation of the moon, its landings, photos, and more.

The Moon's 29 Faces-This activity uses a story and changing photographs of the moon to teach about the lunar cycle.

Moon Phases

NASAexplores  - This NASA website provides weekly lesson plans for Grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Topics will be selected from current NASA Aerospace Technology and Human Exploration of Space topics. A great site for enriching existing curriculum.

NASA Observatorium Teacher Guides 

NASA Quest > Aerospace Team Online

Paper Airplane Science This is a lesson plan for grades 2-6 that teaches the scientific process.

Pathfinder Landing Site-Help students choose a landing site on Mars by using latitude, longitude, velocity, and elevation.

Phases of the Moon

Pop Bottle Programming - Instructions for making a rocket out of a 2 liter bottle.

Projects with Model Rockets - lots of info here!

Reaching For the Red Planet-For grades 4-6, this lesson focuses on planning a Mars colony. Students learn general facts about the planets, the purpose of the colony, etc.

Scale in the Solar System Activities

Scale Model Comet activity - students make a model of a comet using household materials

The Space Place - Hands on activities

Spotting Sunspots

Straw Rockets -The students will investigate variables which affect the flight of a straw rocket. (Gr. 4-7)

The Sun's Fingerprints-This activity compares human fingerprints to the sun's "fingerprints", or spectrum light.

View To the North-A series of photos of the north sky taken at different hours throughout the night. This lesson teaches the concept of moving stars and rotation of the earth.

Wendy Altobell's "Flight" Unit

What Are Coordinates?-This lesson involves locating stars with coordinates and uses a chess board as a reference for comparison.

What Makes the World Turn Around?

Wonders of Space - lots of neat lessons here!

Your Weight On Other Planets-This activity teaches the relation between the weight of human beings and the location at which they are weighed.

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Thematic Units

This is a unit for grades K-3. Students learn about the history of airplanes, parts of an airplane, uses of aircraft, why airplanes fly etc.

Boeing Military Aircraft Classroom Activities

Darla Olson's Aerospace Unit - Designed for Kindergarten

The Solar System and Astronomy Thematic Unit: Students will explore the influences and characteristics of the sun, Earth and moon examining the relationship between these three bodies and the larger solar system. (Pre K - 3)

To The Stars and Back Thematic Unit:  Lessons and hands-on activities about constellations. (K-3)

Solar System Unit from abcteach

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Online Activities

Astronomy for Kids - Online Puzzles, Postcards, fun stuff for kids

Asteroids - a National Geographic online game

A Fun Quiz About the Planets

Constellation Quiz

Mars or Bust Game

Problems in Space

NASA's Observatorium

Space Quiz

Alfy's Space Games

Where in the World 

Clickable Space shuttle

Solar System Trading Cards

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Solar System WebQuest

Solar System Webquest

The Spectacular Solar System

Space - the Final Frontier

Traveling the Solar System - WebQUEST for grades 3-5

Deep Space Nine: The Solar System

Comets WebQuest

Searching for Just the Right Planet

Is There Water on the Moon?

Planets or Not, Here We Come

The Amazing Solar System

Search for Life in the Solar System

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 For More Lesson Plans, Thematic Units, and Activites, see

Mrs. Seagraves' QUEST Class and Thematic Units page