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.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many free materials offered by SMAP to find lessons and activities to engage students in learning about astronomy research. Share the monthly SMAP schedule with students and invite them to share their learning with peers upon completing the monthly activity by creating a website using Canva for Education, reviewed here using one of the many shared templates. Ask students to include interactive elements found within Canva, such as infographics and quizzes, to engage their audience.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): biodiversity (30), chemicals (39), climate (78), earth (179), ecology (97), ecosystems (71), energy (129), environment (231), forces (36), genetics (75), life cycles (20), light (51), matter (46), molecules (39), motion (47), oceans (139), planets (110), sound (74), space (210), stars (64), weather (159)
In the ClassroomThis site is a must-have for all science teachers to use to find high-quality lessons and teaching materials. Be sure to visit the Phenomena section to find the Master List of Phenomenon Google Document sharing suggestions for observable science events or find phenomena by grade level. Engage students in learning by sharing videos on this site, then use Edpuzzle, reviewed here to add questions and focus comments to the videos to support student learning. Use the ideas and resources on this site to create flipped and blended learning lessons or to create playlists to encourage student choice of learning activities. Learn more about playlists by viewing the archive of OK2Ask: Playlists to Personalize Learning, reviewed here and learn about choice boards at the OK2Ask archive: Choice Boards for Differentiation Part 1, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to offer students the opportunity to explore our solar system through interactives, facts, and informative articles. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard then allow students to explore on their own. Because the site is dense with content, you might want to provide students specific areas and content for exploration. As students learn about different pieces of the solar system, ask them to share information using Pinup, reviewed here a labeling tool; have students use an image and create notes about information learned. For example, find a free image to use of the sun and add notes with interesting facts, including distance from the earth, the temperature on the sun, and more. Use Pinup to create an image for each planet either together as a class, or have students create their own. Use the information learned to create a lively learning game using Baamboozle, reviewed here. Baamboozle is a quick and easy two-team quiz creation game that keeps track of the score as you play. Have older students create their own quiz game for classmates to play based on the material they learned from this site and others. Enhance student learning a step further and modify classroom technology use by asking them to create books about the solar system using Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator includes features for students to easily create digital books using their own text, videos, and images. Use BookCreator for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Be sure to include your students' books on your class website as part of your digital library for students and parents!
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, enhance learning by asking them to annotate an image using Google Drawings, reviewed here. Google Drawings allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more. Not familiar with Google Drawings? Watch an archived OK2Ask session to learn how to use OK2Ask Google Drawings, here. Extend your students' knowledge by setting up a Global Virtual Classroom, 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 Canva Infographic Maker, 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. Enhance learning and modify technology use by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings for their projects using Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this infographic 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 infographic is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Extend learning by having students investigate on of the planets or topics on this infographic. Then, enhance learning and modify classroom technology use by having students create an infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.
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 Simplenote, 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 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 Whimsical Mind Maps, 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 Marq (formerly Lucidpress), reviewed here to share what they learn.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the activities in the Classroom resource section to provide background material for understanding Astronomy. Many activities may already be known to the teacher, but these are thoroughly explained. Students could even teach the concepts to their classmates and use these activities as a demonstration.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomThis site contains in-depth portions on planets and space exploration. Refer students to this when natural events like eclipses and comets are occurring. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects or as a major resource for your astronomy unit. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to create an anticipatory set for a new lesson. Once this site is introduced, set up a science learning station for students to explore assigned areas of the site on individual computers.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomGet an interactive whiteboard and choose which research and activities are appropriate for your classroom. You can assign students to report on differenet portions of the site, find something they did not know, or even plan a "trip" to a planet. Be sure to list the link on your teacher web page for students to revisit at home.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce the Starship findings to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector by giving a brief summary of each finding. Engage students by allowing them to form small groups based on their interests. Enhance learning by having students create an organizational Padlet, with thier findings and a section for questions they still have. Next have the class complete a Jigsaw activity so everyone gets an overview of all the topics. Have students take notes! If you would like to refresh your memory about what a Jigsaw activity is, see Jigsaw Classroom, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomChallenge gifted, advanced, and those students with a burning interest in our solar system to research another element of astronomy (or update the material on this site). Ask them to use a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to extend their learning and display their findings. Allow students to choose whether to create an interactive poster, brochure, or newsletter.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for students interested in space travel and other planets. Ask gifted students who are interested in this topic to create a multi-media project using Sway, reviewed here, where they can create an interactive poster, brochure or newsletter.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Use the simulations to teach students about space, space travel, even elements. Great for science teachers of almost all grades!
Grades4 to 8
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