TeachersFirst's Universe and Space - Science Resources
This collection of resources will help you research information about the universe and space. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources. Read through the content sites and find lesson ideas and interactives.
If you cannot find what you need here, you may want to try searching on TeachersFirst for specific keywords.
If you want to explore even more information, peruse this tagged list of resources related to the universe and space.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomInclude this resource with other content when teaching science concepts. Include a link to specific sections of the site for use as non-fiction reading content. Instead of having students draw a poster to share information about animals or plants, ask them to annotate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here. ThingLink allows you to add links including text, video, and more to images. Broaden your students' knowledge by setting up a Skype chat, reviewed here, with a classroom in a different part of the world to compare and contrast your environments.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomDisplay Galaxy Zoo on an interactive whiteboard or projector and work together to compare and classify different images of galaxies. Be sure to create a Zooniverse account and save your classification choices. Use the data provided in the Navigator to further explore the data supplied. Have students create a simple infographic displaying different characteristics of galaxies using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Even if you aren't studying galaxies, this site provides many opportunities for teaching how to classify and compare information.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard. Use as a starting point for a unit on planets, the universe, or conservation. Be sure to include a link on your class website for students to explore at home. Introduce this site when you assign individual or group projects about environmental or global issues. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings for their projects using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this interactive as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard about our solar system. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This interactive is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse information at Space Weather Center with any study of the universe, stars, or weather. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare weather in outer space to weather on earth. Have students create a word cloud (sorry about the pun) of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Share this site on your class website or blog for students to explore at home or during computer time at school. Include a link to games and activities on classroom computers.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you do not have Chrome on you classroom computer, it is worth installing it or asking your tech folks to do so. Explore this site as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own on classroom computers. Create a scavenger hunt for stars to find and have students locate them on the site. Have students give a guided star tour on the interactive whiteboard.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomEnjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTry showing the video (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) at the beginning of a chapter or unit on universes and galaxies. Have students discuss what they think is correct or even incorrect about the video. As you work through your unit, use the teacher activities in addition to your traditional curriculum materials. Revisit the video at least twice throughout the unit to "check-in" on your student's understanding and to assess whether their misconceptions are being cleared. Another idea, is to show the video as a writing prompt for science. Pose a question such as, "How big are you? Explain in terms of the universe." Then, have students view the video and write about their ideas generated by the video.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this in basic astronomy courses or introductions to show students different galaxies. A great idea to start students thinking beyond the confines of Earth would be to show an image of another galaxy and have students discuss what a galaxy is. Ask what galaxy is Earth in. Have students save the link and explore as homework, and assign them to come up with two questions that the site provoked. Refer to and discuss questions as you are teaching your astronomy unit, and maybe even use some (or all) of the questions on the exam for that unit.
You may want to select one of the projects that are labeled basic, advanced, challenge, etc. Each level has several topics. Group students and assign them one of the project's topics to explore. Or, to differentiate for your students you can have small groups investigate an entire project at one level, including all topics. Have groups keep any objects they make and take notes about what they learned using a tool such as Quicklyst (reviewed here). Once finished, have them share their part of the project using your interactive whiteboard and projector. Post student notes as links on your teacher website, so all students can benefit from them. Once created, the notes can be used as a study aid for tests and quizzes.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource as part of an astronomy unit or to discuss how technology allows us to understand more about the science of the universe around us. Show whole or portions of the videos in the classroom or on stand alone computers as part of a learning center. Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific topic at this website and share parts of this web page, images, recipes, passages of text, and more using a site such as Simplybox (reviewed here).
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse chromoscope to help students understand more about the science of space and light. Have students determine what they know about the different types of wavelengths presented. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students explore independently. Brainstorm this information and create a mind map (using diagrammr reviewed here) of the information and how they are related to one another. Identify the level of energy and length of the wavelength through these discussions. Many students have some knowledge of each of these wavelengths and can really learn more when they see it pulled together.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomYou will want to preview the categories and levels your students are to explore. Investigate categories with your students, using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have small groups of students choose a subcategory to further explore. Have your students create an interactive online poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here to share what they learn.
Grades3 to 10
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