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Lesson Plan

Asteroids and Comets

Summary: 
Model crater formation by meteoroids then model the orbits of asteroids and comets around the sun.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Earth/Space: Sun, Moon, Solar System, Universe (1, 4, 6)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Earth and Space Science: Stars and Planets (grade 3)
Activities in this lesson plan: 
Procedure: 

Aside from the planets, there are many other smaller bodies orbiting the sun.

The asteroids, small chunks of rock and metal orbiting the sun (mostly in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter) sometimes crash into planets and moons, dotting their surfaces with craters. (When they hit they are called meteoroids. Any remaining material after impact are called meteorites.)
The crater formation activity explores how craters are formed, and how their appearance can teach us about what planets are made of and their history.

The asteroids are thought to be the remains of an early planet that broke up.
Other bodies orbiting the sun include the dwarf planets and comets.
The gravity well activity models the orbits of these various objects.

Notes: 

Lesson 5/7 at Strathcona.

Grades tested: 
Gr 6
Gr 7
Teacher: 
Phyllis Daly
Reid McInnes
Site tested: 
Strathcona Elementary
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Strathcona Elementary with the Vancouver School Board's Scientist in Residence Program