Giving students topics debated by scientists today can be a great way to create active, inquiry-based learning environments with authentic, real-world context. A new feature in Nova Teachers, “Lesson Ideas,” mines Nova’s vast library to bring educators a robust selection of interactives, video clips, and lesson plans they can use to make science come alive for students.
As an example, The Pluto Files provides a sampling of some of the media-rich lesson ideas that explore the rise and fall of America’s favorite planet with students:
- The Pluto Files: an 11-minute video looks at how the demotion of Pluto came about and the reasons behind it from Neil deGrasse Tyson, the scientist who led the charge
- Hate Mail from 3rd Graders: a slideshow reveals how outraged but kids feel about Pluto being demoted from the planets of the Solar System
- In Defense of Pluto: an audio interview of Plutophile and planetary scientist Alan Stern, who argues why Pluto still deserves planet status
A full Nova program is available after broadcast each week; as a compliment, the programs are delivered with a new collection of lesson ideas centered on a different topic area. Nova’s Media-Rich Lesson Ideas site provides easy access to a vast array of topics such as history, space, exploration and more.