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.
NASA announces discovery of 7 planets
NASA scientists have announced the existence of at least seven small planets orbiting a single cool red dwarf star 40 light years away. They've found that six of the planets are similar in size and composition to Earth and three of the planets lie in the star's habitable zone. That means they could potentially have oceans of water on the surface. NASA says more powerful telescopes being developed may be able to find evidence of water or even life on other worlds.
■Class discussion: Do you think it is likely that we will find evidence of life on other planets? What would it mean to you if you knew there were other life in the universe? What is the possibility of ever finding intelligent life out there? Given the immense distances, do you think human beings will ever reach another habitable planet? Should we just concentrate on surviving here on Earth? Or, should we also try to find or build a “lifeboat” for humanity out in space?