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Exploration Projects

About This Daily Classroom Special
The Need to Explore was created by Buzz Eyler, a former Teachers Network  Web Mentor, to provide teachers with a project to meet a number of Geography and Social Studies Curriculum Standards. If you are a teacher or other educator, you may freely link to this address, but please do not re-publish for personal gain or compensation.

Teaching Ideas

Space:  The Final Frontier! Note to teachers: Below I have designed some ideas of things for your students to do relating to the links they have just visited. It is not my intention that they complete all of them, but that is your decision. Some will work well as a group project, others as individual activities.

One of the toughest things is to relate technology and learning to different learning styles. I have attempted to do that with these ideas. 

I hope your students enjoy the projects. 

Note to students: I hope you will try to be creative and give some thought to these projects. They are not "school work," but they might help you do better in school. Have a good time with them.

If you are a student that likes to read and write, these are for you.

  • Pretend you are Christopher Columbus and write a letter to Queen Isabella of Spain asking her to give you the money for three ships and a crew for your trip to the Indies. Be sure to address it properly. (How would you address a queen?)

  • NASA and ESA have just issued an invitation to apply to be the first student to fly to the space station. Write a letter telling them why they should choose you.

  • The Congress of the United States is debating the budget and wants to stop spending money on the Space Station. Write a letter to Congress telling them why this is a good idea or a bad idea.

  • Write a poem that includes something about Columbus's trip and the Space Station.

  • These are only two of the great stories of exploration. Research another exploration and write about it as if you were in the group exploring.

If you are a student that likes to draw and paint, these are for you:

  • Draw a picture about Columbus's trip. You can use paint, crayons, pencil, or whatever.

  • Using a drawing program on a computer, draw Columbus's ship or the International Space Station. Be sure to include some background.

  • You looked at a map of what the people in 1492 thought our world looked like. Draw your own world map as it might look today.

  • Draw a map of our solar system.

  • Draw a map of the Space Station orbiting the earth.

  • What if your dad or mom was going to be an astronaut on the Space Station. Draw a picture that you would want him/her to display in the living quarters.

If you like music and singing, these are for you:

  • Listen to one of your favorite songs. Change the words to be a story about Columbus's trip.

  • Imagine that you are in charge of waking the astronauts each morning they are in space. Make a list of songs you would use.

  • Make up a song or chant about being in space.

  • There are a number of songs about the sea. Learn to sing them and sing

    for your classmates.

If you like mathematics, these are for you:

  • The space shuttle goes around the earth once every 90 minutes. How fast is it going? At that speed, when would it reach Mars?

  • Columbus took almost three months to cross the Atlantic ocean. How long would it take: in a car going 65 mph, a hot air balloon going 15 mph, a Lear Jet going 500 mph, the International Space Station?

  • The Space Station will be the largest man-made object in space. Make a list of the ten largest man-made objects on earth and put them in order from biggest to smallest.

  • Make up ten math problems for your class about Columbus or the Space Station (as I did here for you).

If you are someone who likes to build things, these are for you:

  • Make a model of the Space Station so you can show the class how it will look in space.

  • Make a model of and explain to the class how a solar cell provides power to the space station.

  • Using clay, sculpt an image of Columbus.

  • Make a sail boat and show how it works to a class of kindergarten or first grade students.

  • Make a model of what Columbus's cabin looked like.

  • Design the living quarters for the space station.

If you like to be with other people, these are for you:

  • Get with another person. Describe how you feel being a crew member of the Santa Maria. Use a tape recorder to record your thoughts and play them back for your class.

  • Describe what it is like living and working with others as you orbit the earth. What things will you talk about? What games will you play? How will you handle it if two people get in a argument?

  • Make a list of rules that Columbus's crew members might have had. Do the same for the Space Station.

  • Make up a game that you could play in space where there is no gravity.

If you like to be alone, these are for you:

  • Pretend you are Columbus and you cannot get anyone to go with you to India by sailing west. Write a letter telling them why they should go.

  • Make a list of ten people on the Space Station. Then, pretend there is an emergency in the Space Station and all must leave. But there is only room for half of them to leave on the first escape pod. Describe who would get to go first and how you decided.

  • You are a crew member for Columbus or on the Space Station. Keep a journal for a week of what you did and what you thought.


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