Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Discovery of Earth-like planet excites astronomers
According to scientists, a newly-discovered planet is the most like Earth ever found. Astronomers sifted through 11 years of data recording subtle shifts caused by planets orbiting the star Gliese 581. They were able to find two new planets around the star, one of which is in a so-called 'habitable zone.'
■Class discussion: If this does turn out to be our sister planet, what would that mean to you? Could we go there for a visit? Slate points out that "Current space shuttles don't go much faster than 17,500 miles per hour. At that pace, it would take 766,000 years to get to Gliese 581 g -- that's more than three times longer than homo sapiens have been around." So why should we get excited about the possibility of life on a planet so far away?