Activities at the Apply Level

Learners show, diagram, classify, discover, examine, demonstrate, interpret, sketch, illustrate, solve, and use information in a new situation

–Draw a diagram of the solar system that includes the Sun, the 8 planets, and the asteroid belt.  Show each of the celestial bodies in correct scale in terms of their size and distance from the Sun.
Make a chart and classify the planets in our solar system into these categories: rocky planets, ice giants, gas giants.
Research the gravitational pull of the planets and figure out how much you would weigh on each of the 8 planets.
Develop a classification system for planets.  They are often grouped as inner and outer planets or terrestrial/rocky or gas planets.  Determine other characteristics that the planets can be classified by.
Show the relative size of each planet and its distance from the Sun by creating a scale sketch or model.
–Make a map of the night sky showing the constellations and planets that are visible from where you live.
–Develop a graphic organizer the demonstrates each planet’s rotational period (length of time for one complete rotation on its axis), for its period of revolution (time to revolve once around the Sun), for its distance from the Sun, for its number of moons, its surface temperature ranges, the composition of its atmosphere, etc.
Gather solar system questions from class members.  Visit the Ask an Expert site and submit a selection of your class’s questions.  Compile the answers and share with classmates.
–Keep a night sky journal.  Date each journal entry. Also include the time of night.  Note the phase of the moon that you see.  Document constellations that are visible.  Record any shooting stars (meteors) that you see.  Log if you can see Venus (also called the Evening Star).  Write down questions to research as you observe the night sky.
–Choose a constellation that is visible where you live.  Develop a booklet about the constellation.  Include where stargazers should look to see the constellation, the history of the constellation, how it got its name, how it may have been used throughout history, any notable stars that are part of its makeup, etc.
–Conduct research about the various U.S. astronauts who have travelled into space so that you can learn about their backgrounds.  Create a job application for future astronauts.  In the application, ask questions and require information from candidates that would help decision-makers choose effective space explorers.