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Gr. 3-5 / Ages 8-10 In the Pokémon world, Palkia's legendary ability to control space captures our imaginations. Similarly, in our world, comets have perplexed and amazed us for centuries. Thought to bring bad luck or predict the future, comets have inspired fear and panic in people throughout the world. Appearing without warning, they were seen as mysterious, unpredictable, and rapid hit-and-miss objects in the sky, disappearing as quickly as they came. Comets were once blamed for earthquakes, fires and fierce windstorms. Now, scientists look for clues to their origin and make-up, hoping this will lead to a better understanding of the origin and make-up of our solar system. In this lesson, students complete a KWL chart to help them assess what they already know about comets. They study comets and their composition, analyzing and making observations about models of comets. Using Internet resources, students explore several famous comets and discover how comet dust is captured in space. Through these experiences, students practice some of the skills scientists use to study comets and make inferences about our solar system.
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