Fun and engaging lesson covering gravity and the difference in gravity across our solar system! Students are provided with an engaging, short reading passage covering the key concepts they should know for mastery of Texas TEKS 6.11 B and components of TEKS 8.8 B.
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This lesson takes the form of an imaginary employee handbook welcoming students as the newest employees of the gravity assistance department of Gravitas Spacelines. Students then calculate the weight of baggage around the solar system and determine the fees travelers will owe based on the gravitation forces of their destinations.
My students really get a kick of the fun story, and I love the fact that they get solid math and science practice while reinforcing knowledge necessary for success on standardized tests!
Students have the opportunity to research the gravity of all eight planets of our solar system, the Moon, and Pluto. Lesson includes source links in case you want to guide students to a specific, credible source for gravity compared to Earth. A version with the gravity chart already filled out is also included in case access to web-based information is a challenge. Color and black and white versions of the “weight of luggage around the solar system” worksheet is included to meet your printing or photocopying needs.
Full teacher key includes some common student questions I’ve encountered over the years with teacher responses. Links to videos that I’ve used as engagement pieces are also included.
All fonts used to create the lesson are included as a bonus and are 100% free and rights-cleared so you can use them to create your own products, even lessons you plan to sell on TPT! I use this fun activity as a key component of my solar system unit. Covers topics necessary for student understanding of Texas TEKS 6.11B and components of TEKS 8.8 B
I use this lesson with my middle school students to cover several key solar system concepts such as: gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system, that the Sun is a medium-sized star, and that the Sun is many thousands of times closer to Earth than any other star. Students also get practice with research by completing the gravity chart, and math practice by determining the weight of luggage as it travels from one location to another within our solar system.
If you're teaching a solar system unit, your students may also enjoy my lesson with nine foldables covering all 8 planets and the dwarf planet Pluto. Click HERE
for more details.
Addresses many common core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Bundle includes: a fun and engaging math and science lesson covering gravity, full teacher key, links to video resources, and links to web based resources perfect for guiding students with research.
Lesson was created for elementary and middle school students and reinforces many English language arts common core standards (such as: “Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context”). RST6-8.3, RST6-8.4
Approximately two to three class periods in length (as a point of reference, I teach a 50-minute class). I generally allow my students to use computers, iPads, or smart phones to do the research and I complete the research, the lesson, and discuss the results in three days. Created by Mister Science
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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) addressed in this lesson:
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System
The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.
This standard is covered when students research gravitational forces around the solar system.
For my fellow Texans:
This lesson covers the following TEKS:
(11) Earth and space. The student understands the organization of our solar system and the relationships among the various bodies that comprise it. The student is expected to:
(B) Understand that gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system
This TEK is met when students research the weight of luggage as it moves around the solar system. Students make the connections that as the mass of planets change the weight of objects change proportionally.
(B) recognize that the Sun is a medium-sized star and that the Sun is many thousands of times closer to Earth than any other star;
This TEK is met when students read the short introductory reading passage.
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