LIVING IN SPACE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD
Grades 3 - 5
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.
"Look Up: Living in Space (#16)"
Students will be able to:
- model the behavior that the astronauts use to carry out everyday tasks
while they are weightless;
- recognize that technology originally developed for space travel has
affected our lives here on earth; and
- plan menus for the astronauts that will be nutritious, lightweight,
- able to stay fresh for the length of the flight. (NASA plans menus
of 3000 calories a day)
- one squirt bottle of water
- one roll of paper towels
- one container of liquid soap
- one jar of peanut butter
- one jar of jelly
- one loaf of bread
- five toothbrushes
- one tube of toothpaste
- gummed file labels
- fun tack
- calculators (at least one for each group of four students)
- calorie charts (one for each student)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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
Women of NASA Project- Contact: LaShunda Prescott via E-mail:
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
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
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online