wNetSchool HomeThe Practical Web Service for K-12 TeacherswNetStation
WNET Educational Initiatives
Instructional Television
Lesson Plan Database
NTTI    

LIVING IN SPACE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD
Grades 3 - 5

Overview

The students will listen to and observe how astronauts live in space. Their curiosity about how the astronauts wash, eat and go to the bathroom will be addressed. They will see the effect that weightlessness has on everyday tasks. They will be given an opportunity to model the astronauts' behavior and to discover how different it must be living in space. The students will also try to plan menus for astronauts that include 3000 calories per day. The foods they plan for the menus must be pre-cooked, stay fresh, be lightweight and store compactly.
ITV Series
"Look Up: Living in Space (#16)"
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Materials

Pre-Viewing Activities
Ask the students, " If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you like to visit?" Write the name of the places on toothpick flags and have them find the places on your classroom globe and place the flags using fun tack. When all the students have finished placing their flags, tell them that someday they may be taking their vacations in space. But first, they will have to know the things that the astronauts have learned about living in space and being weightless.
Focus Viewing
The focus for viewing is a specific responsibility or task(s) students are responsible for during or after watching the video to focus and engage students' attention. Ask the what they think astronauts do when they get up for the day. Tell them that Dr. Sally Ride is going to show them how astronauts wash in space. The students are to raise their hands when they can tell their classmates how this is done.

Viewing Activities
START ITV Series Look Up (#16) where Dr. Ride says, "When you first get up in the morning..." PAUSE where she finishes with the towel. Ask the students to explain the differences they saw in the video between taking a bath or a shower here on earth and how the astronauts wash in space. Tell the students that tooth brushing is different too. Ask them to predict what differences they will see in the next segment. List students' responses on the chalkboard. RESUME the tape. PAUSE after Sally Ride shows the comb and brush. Ask the children to tell you the ways their predictions were correct and what predictions should be changed as a result of what they have seen.

Tell the students that we have heard what Dr. Sally Ride has said and now we are going to see film of astronauts actually getting ready for the day while in space and weightless. They are to look carefully and to be able to tell you and their classmates the ways in which this is different from the first segment. RESUME the video and PAUSE after the narrator explains that the astronauts don't wear shoes or boots.

Discuss how the students would have to swallow their toothpaste or use the toilet facilities on the space shuttle. Ask the children to explain why the astronauts don't wear space suits and helmets all the time they are in the shuttle and particularly why they don't wear shoes or boots.

Ask the students what food they would most like to take with them if they were going into space. Make a list of the foods, noting how many students chose each one. Tell the students to look and listen carefully to see if their choices would be practical for astronauts. RESUME the tape where the words, "Eating in Space..." PAUSE when the students are told what a kitchen is called on the shuttle. Ask the class to give the name that was used for the kitchen. Tell the students that preparing a meal in space is sometimes very different and sometimes very much like what we do in our own kitchens. Instruct them to look for three things that are the same and three things that are different. RESUME the video and PAUSE after the meal is heated. List the things that the children saw that were the same or different on chart paper.

Tell the children that now we are going to learn how to eat in a very different way. Astronauts don't need some of the things we need to sit down to a comfortable meal. In fact they don't sit down at all. Their table manners wouldn't work here on earth. Look and see them eating and find out what utensils they use. RESUME the video and STOP where the narrator says, "Don't try these tricks until you ride in the Shuttle."
Post-Viewing Activities
Discuss the funny things the astronauts did with their food and ask the students what utensils they used. Set up three stations around the room. Break the class up into three groups and assign them to the three stations. The groups will be assigned a task and given the equipment necessary to do this task as if they were in space. One group must discuss, plan and appoint someone to wash their hands and face. The second group must do the same with brushing their teeth. The last group will make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Note that many things in the shuttle have magnets attached to them so they can be placed on a spot and stay there. In their demonstrations they are to use fun tack as if it were a magnet.)

The students will be reminded that they are doing this in space so that they can't just put something down and expect it to stay in place. They are also to remember that liquid not in a container while in space becomes a floating glob. There are no sinks, showers or tubs and if there were, the water would just float out of them. The students should also keep in mind that food has to be slightly sticky to help the astronauts keep their food on the food trays. The squirt bottle can be attached to a desk or table with a sting to simulate the hose and water gun on the shuttle. The liquid soap dispenser could be taped to a nearby wall or furniture as a soap dispenser, as can the roll of paper towels. A small cooler can be used as a food compartment in which all the ingredients and utensils for the sandwich can be kept. The tooth brushes can be pre-packaged in plastic wrap with fake toothpaste made from whipped topping. This should also be in a cupboard in the classroom .

When each group is ready, they should let the teacher know so that the whole class can watch each demonstration. Each group should switch one station to the right, choose a new demonstrator, and repeat the process until each group has had a chance at each station. The teacher should have a camera ready and photograph these demonstrations to display on a bulletin board.

The math component of this lesson could include discovering why NASA plans a 3000 calorie menu per day for each astronaut. To continue the research, ask the students to find out what exactly a calorie is, and to form groups of 3 or 4 students to plan a menu for a day in space. The students should be provided with a calorie chart and a menu work sheet. Each group must record the food, the serving size, and the calories per serving. One student will record, one student will use a calculator to keep a tally of the calories as they plan, and all of the children should have input as to their food preferences and the suitability of the selections for space travel.

When the group has completed their menu, the fourth child should take the calculator and check their totals by recalculating. The menu worksheets will provide for three meals and two snacks. The groups should share their menu with the class. Each group should check to see if the foods chosen would make a balanced diet, add up to at least 3000 calories and be compact, lightweight and able to stay fresh. Menus can then be displayed in a bulletin board along with the photos taken during the demonstration.


Note to the Teacher:
Seeing a woman as a respected scientist and astronaut is ideal chance to encourage all students, without regard to gender or ethnicity, to learn about careers in science and math.

Action Plan
Students could look for things in their homes and restaurants that were originally developed for use in space (e.g., microwave ovens; Tang drink crystals; juice boxes; socks, gloves, and jackets made of the insulation material used in space suits, and things made from titanium which makes up a large part of the shuttle).

Students could write to astronauts through NASA to ask for information about their personal experiences in space or for more information about space and our future in space.

Students could interview the school nurse and /or dietitian for information about a balanced diet. They could also check the school lunch menus to see if the meals are well-balanced and nutritious
Extensions
Language Arts: Have students undertake creative writing projects that allow them to write accounts of "vacations in space" in the future. Students could write business letters to NASA requesting information about the educational requirements for astronauts and how they could apply for such position when they are ready.

Arts: Ask students to design comfortable clothing for space travel. Have students design instruments the will make space travel more convenient. Encourage students to draw pictures of the earth, the stars, the sun or the planets as seen from the windows of a shuttle.

Literature: The Picture Book of Rockets and Satellites by S. N. Barrett Women In Space Reaching The Last Frontier by Carole S. Briggs The True Book of the Moon Ride Rock Hunt by Margaret Friskey Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant Spacecraft ñ An Easy Read Fact Book by Michael Jay How In The World by Readers' Digest Science: It's Changing Your World by National Geographic World

Internet:

Women of NASA Project- Contact: LaShunda Prescott via E-mail: prescott@quest.arc.nasa.gov or Gopher to gopher://quest.arc.nasa.gov and introduce science and math to students through the eyes of women working at NASA in various areas.

NASA's Star Child Project: http://guinan.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html Youngsters will learn about galaxies, planets, stars, suns and moons. Colorful images and photos.

Hubble Telescope Reports: Telnet to: stinfo.hq.esc.org Your link to the latest information about what this amazing telescope has discovered.


Master Teachers: Kathleen E. Gibbons and Donna L. Clovis


Top of lesson


Lesson Plan Database
NTTI
Thirteen Ed Online
wNetStation