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Astronomy Week 31

Class: Astronomy

Date: 4/10, 4/12


The Exploration of Space


The Early Days

Lesson Objective:

Students will describe the early history of human space exploration.



State Frameworks:

NS.11.PS.5 Research historical events in physical science NS.11.PS.6 Research current events and topics in physical


A8-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real world problem based upon prioritized criteria and tradeoffs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts. [AR Clarification Statement: Use qualitative and quantitative data to analyze a major global challenge for space systems which could include human space travel, terraforming, and colonizing other planets.]



Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented.


Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

ACT Aspire PLD:

Translate moderately complex information into a table, graph, or diagram.

Compare data from two or more simple data presentations (e.g. compare a value in a table to a value in a graph or categorize data from a table using a scale from another table).

Predict the results of an additional trial or measurement in a moderately complex experiment.

Evaluate the design or methods of a simple experiment (e.g. possible flaws or inconsistencies; precision and accuracy issues).

Determine which hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion is, or is not, consistent with a moderately complex data presentation or piece of information in text.

Identify implications and assumptions in a complex theoretical model.

Science & Engineering Practices (SEP):

Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions,

Crosscutting Concepts (CCC):

Energy and Matter, Structure and Function

Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI):

ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars, ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System,

Engagement:    Day 1

Opening Question: “When and who launched the first object into space? What was the purpose?” Discuss student responses.


10 min

Explore:                Day 1--Opening question for day 2 will be to complete the timeline as needed.

Students will create a timeline of space exploration through 1972. This should include the explorations of other nations, as well as the United States.


80 min

Explain: Day 2

Discuss the major events in space exploration through 1972. Discuss purpose and need, including political issues with the Soviet Union.


20 min

Elaborate: Day 2

Students will choose two of the events from their timeline to create a booklet, brochure, poster, etc. discussing the event in detail, to share with the class.


70 min


Formative as students work, summative of timeline


Time NA

Material/Lab Safety: