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Objectives:

  • The students will learn about the history of space exploration.

  • The students will be able to define the terms: astronaut and cosmonaut.

  • The students will learn the requirements to be an astronaut.

  • The students will be able to name famous astronauts and explain their contributions to space exploration.

  • The students will be able to describe notable space explorations in history.  

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about outer space.

  • What do you think it would be like to travel into outer space?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about space exploration?

  • Can you name any famous astronauts?  

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

**When the unit is over, download the final assessment for all of the lessons on space for free.

**Here's the answer key.

Astronauts and Voyages into Space - A Look into Space Exploration

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Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • The history of space exploration.

  • The definitions to the terms: astronaut and cosmonaut.

  • The names of famous astronauts and their contributions to space exploration.

  • The dates of notable space explorations.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • For the first few minutes, the students will fill out the “What I Know About Astronauts and Space Exploration” worksheet.

  • The teacher will begin the class by showing the video “The Evolution of Space Exploration” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y5QU50KA_c) . The video is about two minutes long and talks about how space exploration has evolved over the years. After the video has been presented, the teacher should begin a discussion about the content. The teacher should emphasize how space-crafts have changed over time and how, with the improvement of modern-day technology, new objects in space are being discovered.

  • After the worksheet is reviewed, the teacher will begin presenting the information on the Solar System. If it is possible, project each page of the teacher’s copy of the “All About the Solar System” Science Journal worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project.  The teacher’s copy of the journal has certain words/phrases that are bolded red and highlighted. It is important the teacher explain to the students those words/phrases are to be highlighted in their (students) journal. For this lesson, the teacher should review these pages:

  • Pages 15-16: History of Space Exploration

**This page reviews the history of space exploration**

  • Pages 17-18: Famous Astronauts

**These pages will review some of the famous astronauts in history**

  • Pages 19-20:  “Space Race”

**This page explains the “Space Race” of the 20th Century between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR)*

  • Pages 21-22:  Notable Space Explorations

**This page explains some of the most notable space explorations in history**  

  • After the information has been presented, the students will participate in the activity “My Planet”. The students can work individually or in pairs (no more than 2 per group). The teacher should give each student a “My Planet” outline. The students will pretend they are an astronaut who is traveling through space. During his/her travels, they discover a new planet. The students will follow the “My Planet” outline to describe the new planet he/she has discovered.  Allow the students about 15-20 minutes to complete the activity.  

**Each student/pair can either present their “Planet” or a gallery walk can be set up. For the gallery walk, each pair will place their planet poster on desks throughout the room. The students will walk around and look at their peers’ poster**

  • After the presentation or gallery walk is over, the students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities. The teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students.

  • The students will then fill out the “What I Learned About Astronauts and Space Exploration” worksheet.

  • They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About the Solar System” page.

**The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

10 minutes

Introductory Activity: Video: “Evolution of Space Exploration”

15 Minutes

History of Space Exploration | Famous Astronauts | “Space Race” | Notable Space Explorations

  • Instruct the students to open to page 15 in their science journals.

  • Project each page of the science journal onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • The teacher copy has bolded red and highlighted words. The students will highlight those words in their science journal.

  • Begin presenting the information. The pages that will be presented include: pages 15-22.

15 Minutes

Activity: “My Planet”

  • The students can either work individually or in pairs.

  • Give each pair a poster board and crayons/markers/colored pencils.

  • Instruct the students to pretend they are an astronaut who is traveling through space. During his/her travels, they discover a new planet.

  • The students will follow the “My Planet” outline to describe and create the new planet he/she has discovered. (This is when they will need the “My Planet” activity materials)

  • Allow the students to work on their project for about 15-20 minutes.

  • Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.  

**Each student/ pair can either present their “Planet” or a gallery walk can be set up. For the gallery walk, each pair will place their planet poster on desks throughout the room. The students will walk around and look at their peers’ poster board**

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • After the presentation or gallery walk is over, the students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities. The teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students.

  • The students will then fill out the "What I Learned About Astronauts and Space Exploration" worksheet. They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down on the page.

**The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.