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ALEX Lesson Plan Resources
ALEX Lesson Plans
Rollin' Through the Solar System: Creating a Scaled Model
First, students will view an engaging video about the recent arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto. Students will create a sketch of the solar system to show their current understanding of the relative sizes and distances of the objects in our solar system. Students will then scale the diameters of the Sun, eight main planets, and Pluto, as well as the planets' distances from the sun. Students will be required to utilize mathematical skills, such as division, rounding, and metric system conversions. After scaling the diameters and orbits of the objects in our solar system, students will create a scaled model of the solar system using a roll of toilet paper. This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
Exploring Planet Sizes and Distances
This lesson allows students to construct solar system models showing the comparative sizes of the planets to a scale. The students will also use their models to carry out an investigation to analyze and interpret the distances between planets in the Solar System. This lesson uses common objects easily obtained by teachers. This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Scaling the Sun-Earth-Moon System
Students will develop a scale model of the sun, Earth, and moon system based on a one-meter sun. Students will first interact with a technology-based scaled model and view a video clip on scaling the solar system. Students will then scale the diameter of the Earth and moon, as well as the distance from the Earth to the sun, and from the Earth to moon. Students will be required to utilize mathematical skills, such as division, rounding, and metric system conversions. After scaling the diameters and distances, students will create the scaled model. This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.