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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!

A drawing of how Mars might have looked in the past and how it looks today.

A fifth grader at Acres Green Elementary School in Colorado explains what Mars was like in the past and how it appears today, in the Red Planet activity, Mars in the Future!

As a project of the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program, Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! proved to be a very effective way to incorporate science into elementary school literacy activities. The project’s flexible, standards-based curriculum used literacy, art, and creative expression as a vehicle for the topic of Mars exploration. The project offered teacher professional development nationally from 2013 to 2016 and, with a special focus on Spanish-language communities, Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! has been translated for use by Spanish language teachers, English as a Second Language teachers, and others.


Red Planet lessons

Please click the links below to access PDF files of the full Red Planet lessons and their corresponding student activity handouts.

Download entire Red Planet program

English | Spanish

Red Planet: Welcome to the Program!

Introduction and recommended reading

Lesson 1: A Quick Trip to Mars

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages

Lesson 1 Extension Activity: Atmospheric Pressure on Mars

Teacher Instructions

Lesson 1 Extension Activity: The Gravity on Mars

Teacher Instructions

Lesson 2: Hanging Mars Out to Dry

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages | Student Supplemental Reading

Lesson 3: Going to Extremes

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages | Behold the Mighty Water Bear (Science Friday video)

Lesson 4: Surviving and Thriving on Mars

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages

Lesson 5: Mars in the Future!

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages

Lesson 6: Know-Wonder-Learned

Teacher Instructions | Student Pages