the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This is a two-week cross-curricular unit for Grades 1-2 on Saturn and its rings. It integrates reading, writing, art, and science to provide a multi-sensory exploration of the structure of Saturn and its place in our Solar System. Children will draw and write to express their knowledge, read picture books about the Solar System, create outdoor scale models of the distance between Earth and Saturn, design a 3D physical model of Saturn and its moons, and more. The resource is almost completely turn-key and includes detailed lesson plans, pedagogical support, assessments, printable lab notebooks, warm-up questions, and background information. Each lesson draws on data from NASA's Cassini mission as its factual basis.
Editor's Note:This is one of the best resources we have found for teaching space science in the primary grades. Children's picture books provide a framework for the entire curriculum, allowing kids a meaningful basis to understand scale, comparative size, and planetary composition. Students demonstrate knowledge in a wide variety of ways: writing, group discussion, modeling, drawing, and simple data recording. See Related Materials for a similar unit on Saturn for Grades 3-4, also developed by JPL.
JPL, Jet Propulsion Lab, Saturn's moon, Titan, missions, modeling, modeling Saturn, planets, rings of Saturn, solar system, space exploration, space missions
Metadata instance created
November 6, 2012
by Caroline Hall
August 24, 2016
by Lyle Barbato
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
1. The Nature of Science
1B. Scientific Inquiry
K-2: 1B/P3. Describing things as accurately as possible is important in science because it enables people to compare their observations with those of others.
1C. The Scientific Enterprise
K-2: 1C/P1. Everybody can do science and invent things and ideas.
K-2: 1C/P2. In doing science, it is often helpful to work with a team and to share findings with others. All team members should reach their own individual conclusions, however, about what the findings mean.
4. The Physical Setting
4A. The Universe
3-5: 4A/E4. The earth is one of several planets that orbit the sun, and the moon orbits around the earth.
11. Common Themes
K-2: 11B/P2. A model of something is different from the real thing but can be used to learn something about the real thing.
K-2: 11D/P1. Things in nature and things people make have very different sizes, weights, ages, and speeds.
12. Habits of Mind
12B. Computation and Estimation
K-2: 12B/P1. Use whole numbers in ordering, counting, identifying, measuring, and describing objects and events.
12D. Communication Skills
K-2: 12D/P1. Describe and compare real-world objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.
K-2: 12D/P2. Draw pictures that portray some features of the thing being described.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Astronomy Unit Title: Astronomy Resources for the K-8 Classroom
Want to do a unit on Saturn, but can't sacrifice Language Arts time? This two-week unit integrates reading, writing, art, and science to provide a wonderful multi-sensory exploration of Saturn and its rings. It's completely turn-key with detailed lessons, warm-up questions, printable lab notebooks, content support, assessment, and more. All lessons are based on data provided by NASA's Cassini mission to the outer planets.
<a href="http://www.thephysicsfront.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=12464">Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004.</a>
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I, (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, 2004), <http://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/education/educationK4Program/educationK4Lit12b/>.
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I. (2004). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from National Aeronautics and Space Administration: http://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/education/educationK4Program/educationK4Lit12b/
Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004. http://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/education/educationK4Program/educationK4Lit12b/ (accessed 26 April 2017).
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/education/educationK4Program/educationK4Lit12b/>.
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%0 Electronic Source %D 2004 %T NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Reading, Writing, and Rings I %I National Aeronautics and Space Administration %V 2017 %N 26 April 2017 %9 application/pdf %U http://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/education/educationK4Program/educationK4Lit12b/
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