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Exoplanets: Teachers

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Exoplanet Resources from NASA

NASA is the best source of current information about exoplanets and the ongoing search for other worlds that could support life. Take a look at these resources to share with your students. Many include student-friendly short videos and infographics.

You'll want to check out NASA's Exoplanet Multimedia Resources, which is packed with amazing images, videos, fact sheets, infographics and much more.

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Eyes on Exoplanets is an interactive that allows you and your students to explore exoplanets, compare them to our own neighbor planets, and discover how far away they are.

Space Place: Exoplanets is NASA's site specifically for elementary-age kids that explains the search for other planets like ours.

Classroom helps from NASA include The ABCs of Exoplanets Interactive Book, Exoplanet Student Coloring Book, and downloadable Exoplanet Travel Posters for coloring.

PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia resources include background reading, teaching tips, discussion questions, supplementary materials, and alignment with standards.

In Stars and Exoplanets, join a group of students who visit the Exoplanet Travel Agency to learn about exoplanets and what it might be like to visit one. Grades 4-8.

The Goldilocks Zone explains why scientists are looking for Earth-like planets that are just the right distance from the stars they orbit. Included is a classroom activity to help students visualize the Goldilocks zone. Grades 4-8.

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Using Color to Identify Planets shows how analyzing the colors of light coming from distant planets can help us learn what those exoplanets are like. Grades 4-8.

The James Webb Telescope introduces the most powerful space telescope ever launched to date. Grades 4-8.

NOVA: Exoplanet Lab is an immersive hands-on activity where students must find homes for displaced aliens using the same techniques scientists use to find and characterize exoplanets. See the complete Exoplanet Lab Lesson Plan and the Educator Guide. Grades: 6-8.

How To Discover A New Planet gives a historical perspective to the search for exoplanets using the transit method. Planet-Hunting focuses on the Kepler space telescope's amazing discoveries of numerous Earth-like rocky planets. Grades 6-8.

NOVA's Are We Alone? surveys the many ways scientists analyze clues to help answer the question of life beyond Earth. For grades 7 and up.

Lesson Plans and Classroom Resources

In this Exoplanets activity for grades 3-4, students select a star and create their own “habitable zone” exoplanet.

Life On Other Worlds: What are the Conditions for Life? and Planetary Hide and Seek: How Do We Detect Far-Away Planets? are two lessons that introduce elementary students to exoplanet science with engaging hands-on activities.

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Undiscovered Worlds, a guide from Boston's Museum of Science, can be easily adapted for classroom use and contains activities for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Students compare Earth's characteristics to those of a specific exoplanet in this middle-school lesson.

Design an Exoplanet and Identify the Mystery Exoplanet are engaging classroom activities for grades 5-8.

Institute of Physics offer five lessons for teaching exoplanets to middle-school students including Detecting Exoplanets, Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone, and Exoplanet Atmospheres, as well as a downloadable Exoplanets Poster.

Combine science and math in this “Pi in the Sky” middle-school lesson from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Students use data from the Kepler mission to find the size of an exoplanet.

Find exoplanet videos and lessons in this collection for teachers.

This middle-school exoplanets lesson combines art, science and imagination.

National Geographic offers a good overview of exoplanets and the main ways they are discovered in Exoplanets 101.

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Additional sources where elementary students can learn more about exoplanets include Kiddle Encyclopedia, Nine Planets, Wonderopolis, and European Space Agency Kids.

For students in grades 6 and above, The Planetary Society's exoplanet resources include:

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