Overview: Uncovering Pluto's Secrets

Overview
of Star Witness news story: Uncovering the Secrets of Pluto
Description:
Star Witness news story: Uncovering the Secrets of Pluto describes the search for Pluto and its moon system. The search began in the early 1900s. After Pluto's discovery in 1930, another 40 years went by before astronomers discovered Charon, the first and largest of its five moons. The text also describes the discovery of Pluto's other four moons, as well as the upcoming New Horizons mission to Pluto later this summer. In addition, the story discusses the origin of the moons' names and Pluto's designation as one of several dwarf planets.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page; also, downloadable PDF including story and images
Grades: 5-8, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Star Witness news story: Uncovering the Secrets of Pluto as:

A content reading selection. You can discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary with students prior to having them read the selection.

An engagement activity. You can have students read the selection and then explain what they learned about Pluto and its system of moons.

An inquiry tool. You can propose a question to students, such as "Why do you think astronomers are interested in Pluto?" Students can then read the selection and record new questions for further research or investigation.

A source of information. You can have students read the selection and participate in a class discussion by using the selection's associated "Discussion Questions."

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Finds Two Chaotically Tumbling Pluto Moons"



Overview: Uncovering Pluto's Secrets