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Comets and asteroids
Comet Facts, Myths & Legends
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Great balls of fire … er, ice! Explore comet facts and fantasies through the ages.

Online Exploration: Comet Facts, Myths, & Legends is a reading activity in which students learn about the history of comets: their observation, characteristics, and impact on society.

Online interactive
5-8, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Online Exploration: Comet Facts, Myths, & Legends addresses the following topics: how comets got their name (The Hair Out There), how society viewed them (Friend or Foe?), the periodicity of comets (What Goes Around Comes Around), the result of debris left by comets (Forecast: Showers Likely), the possibility that a comet was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs (Crash Course) and information about famous comets (Famous Comets). This activity can be used as a content reading activity, to enhance a student's knowledge and understanding about comets, or as a source of topics for assigning further research to groups of students.

For more suggestions about how to use this activity in the classroom, access the lesson plan by clicking on the Teaching Tips button found on the first page of the activity. A science background component (the "All About Comets" button) contains information about comets that may be used by teachers and students. Other resources (the "Comet Links" button) include the images used in the activity, related web sites, and references. Specific information about computer requirements (the "Computer Needs" button) can also be found on the first page of the activity. In addition, "How to prepare for an online 'Amazing Space' activity" provides tips for setting up and using this activity in the classroom.

Related materials

Amazing Space resources by topic: Comets and asteroids

Printable Parts

The printable images used in the activity are listed in the Grab Bag section, which can be found by clicking "Comet Links" on the first page of the activity.