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Life Science Units and Lessons for Grades 4-6
Life Science
Grades 4-6
Physical Science
Grades 4-6
Earth and Space Science
Grades 7-9
Grades 7-9
Leaf with water droplets
NASA shuttle launching into space
Artist rendition of a Mars rover

The Body Unit

Lesson Description Prep Time Lesson Time Needed Complexity
Space Adaptations Activities to investigate the adaptations that humans must make during spaceflight.
Keywords: bone loss, bone strength, microgravity, oxygen
1 Hour 3.5 Hour Moderate
The Brain in Space Activities to investigate the effects of space travel on the human brain.
Keywords: inner ear, human vestibular system, motion, fatigue, reaction time
2 Hours 4 Hours Advanced
Train Like an Astronaut Students can participate in physical activities modeled after the real-life physical requirements of humans traveling in space.
Keywords: disorientation, vestibular system, muscles, bones, brain, space adaptation, exercise, pressure changes
1 Hour 4 Hours Moderate

Food Unit

Lesson Description Prep Time Lesson Time Needed Complexity
Food for Thought Students explore the unique problems of keeping astronauts happy and healthy in space.
Keywords: energy, health, preparation, selection, waste, mold growth, planning and serving, ripening fruits and vegetables, nutrition, calories, storage
1.5 Hours 7 Hours Moderate

Life Out There? Unit

Lesson Description Prep Time Lesson Time Needed Complexity
Astrobiology: Life Here and Out There Students explore life here on Earth and utilize that understanding to determine what life is and how to look for it on other planets.
Keywords: journaling, observation, living conditions, definition of life, food, air, temperature, extremes
1 Hour 3.5 Hours Moderate
Habitable Zones Students explore some of the reasons to think extraterrestrial life is possible by varying the distance from the Sun, studying organisms living under extreme conditions on Earth, and investigating extreme temperature effects on metabolism.
Keywords: temperature, metabolism, gas, extremophiles, star mass, bond albedo, distance from star, greenhouse effect of atmosphere
1 Hour 4-5 Hours Moderate
Search for Life on Other Worlds - Observing and Classifying Life Activities challenge students to make observations regarding the physical traits of living things with the intent to classify them through comparisons and contrasts.
Keywords: animal classification, stereoscopic vision, observations, written observations, accuracy
1.5 Hours 4.5 Hours Basic
Search for Life on Other Worlds - What is Life and What Does it Need to Live? Students examine the nature of life, what it requires, its limits, and where it might be found as well as learn important ideas related to the search for extraterrestrial life.
Keywords: define life, aliens, physical features of the body, habitation requirements
2 Hours 4 Hours Moderate
Shapes and Food Chains Students explore why plants and animals may need support systems and discover that plants are the main source of energy in the food chain.
Keywords: relationship between food, body shape, muscles, bones and skeleton
1 Hour 3 Hours Basic

Plants Unit

Lesson Description Prep Time Lesson Time Needed Complexity
Have Seed Will Travel Students compare plants unique adaptations to reproducing in their environment.
Keywords: adaptation, survival, plants
1-2 Hours 1 Hour Basic
How Do Plants Know Which Way to Grow? Tropisms Students explore the effects of gravity on plant growth.
Keywords: adaptation, gravitropism, photosynthesis, survival, phototropism, light waves, gravity, light
2.5 Hours 7 Hours /
4-5 Days
Light Effects on Plant Behavior Activities investigate the principals of photosynthesis and effects of light on plants.
Keywords: adaptation, gravitropism, photosynthesis, survival, phototropism, light waves
2.5 Hours 4 Hours /
Act.1–4 Days
Act.2–3 Days
Act.3–4 Hours
Living Clocks Students observe that some behaviors and functions of living organisms vary predictably every 24 hours.
Keywords: circadian rhythms, behavior, plants, adaptation
1 Hour 10 Minutes Daily /
6 Days

Survival Unit

Lesson Description Prep Time Lesson Time Needed Complexity
Cool Spacesuits Lesson will enable students to demonstrate, test and analyze materials utilized in spacesuits to keep astronauts cool in the harsh environment of space.
Keywords: radiation danger, spacesuits, outpost simulation, human needs,space environment
1.5 Hours 2 Hours Moderate
Field Trip to the Moon Students explore the moon's habitability and sustainable resources with activities that culminate with plans for the design and creation of a lunar station.
Keywords: lunar, satellite, stratigraphy, craters, lava, spacecraft, ecosystems, mining, habitat, scientific method, power station, energy resources, landing sites, medical
2 Hours 4 Hours Moderate
Survivor: The Space Environment Students explore and compare the space environment and Earth's environment to determine the resources needed for humans to survive in both environments.
Keywords: human needs, physical stress, food properties, menu selection, balanced meals, challenges, food web, population, data, ultraviolet radiation, solar, DNA, electromagnetic, solar cycle
1.5 Hours 8 Hours Moderate

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator