Grade: Middle
Subject: other

#2804. The Columbia Astronauts

, level: Middle
Posted Sun Feb 2 13:53:53 PST 2003 by Randa Schmalfeld (
File for Columbia Lesson Activities
Fullerton School District, Fullerton, USA
Materials Required: Newspaper or magazine profiling the Columbia Astronauts
Activity Time: 45 min or more
Concepts Taught: Current Event

Open your lesson by discussing explorers, adventurers, and heroes.

Next,guide the discussion to address the Columbia Tragedy, giving students time to share what they know or have heard of what happened on Saturday.

To help students see each of the astronauts as the incredible individuals that they were, share the newspaper clipping that you have gathered.

Next begin the jigsaw activity. You will divide your students into sven groups. Each group will become an expert on one of the seven Columbia astronauts. Give each child a copy of the "In depth look ..." page and give each group the newspaper or magazine article. Allow time for each expert group to read through the breif biography of their astronaut, discuss and complete the "in depth look..." page.

Then regroup the students into jigsaw groups with one expert on each astronaut. Each expert should have at least 3 minutes to share their information.

After they have finished, read the class the famous poem "High Flight written by WWII Pilot Joh G, Magee, Jr. or another appropriate selection perhaps an excerpt of President Bush's Speech about the tragedy.

Finish the lesson by having them write a tribute to the astronauts of the Columbia
Go to the url link ( and download three MS_Word documents you can print and do in class.