Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark
Benchmark Question: How does our planet and Sun compare
to other planets and star systems?
Focus Question: What conditions do living things
need to exist on other planets?
Students will brainstorm
conditions necessary for life on Earth (water, oxygen, suitable
temperatures, presence of ozone, proper amount of greenhouse gases like
carbon dioxide and water vapor etc.) Students will list characteristics and
traits that allow organisms to sustain life on Earth.
Using a variety of sources,
students in small groups will select a planet (other than Earth), conduct
research, and gather factual information about that planet, including its
atmosphere, surface features, gravitational pull, and temperature
conditions. These sources may include data collected from Galileo, Voyager,
and other NASA space probes.
Using gathered information
on the planets, each small group will create an illustration of an alien
creature that has adapted to the conditions found on their selected planet,
such as an alien drawn with space suit to adapt to the gases and extremely
hot temperatures of Venus. Students will write and present a report
describing their alien and its adaptations in relation to the planetŐs