Students learning about space will enjoy this free space exploration poster from the Smithsonian. Living and Working in Space is designed to be a teaching tool jumping off into activities and extensions that help students learn about the environmental conditions in space, what is required to live and work there, and the improvements that have been made in spacesuit technology to meet those requirements.
Students consider various reasons for going to space and compare conditions in space with those on Earth. As a culminating activity, they analyze how a modern spacesuit enables astronauts to live and work under extremely hostile conditions.
If you are into notebooking, you’ll appreciate the pages in this 10-page download that can be used for creating a space exploration notebook:
- Earth vs. space comparison chart.
- Space shuttle spacesuit diagram.
- The poster itself.
The self-guides recommended in the extension activities part of the poster are also wonderful resources. The links have changed:
- Milestones of Flight
Student self-guide to six historic craft including the shuttle.
- Explore the Space Hanger
You can also extend the activity by visiting these other living-in-space links — again with excellent printables for a notebook:
Suited for Space
A photographic look back at some of the early space suits. Compare to the one on the poster!
NASA Facts: Living and Working in Space
Fact sheet that may be helpful for some of the poster activities.
A Day in the Life Aboard the International Space Station
Similar information as above but written for younger students.
Space Shuttle Enterprise
View the space shuttle.
Suited for Spacewalking
Very large 100-page Teacher’s Guide with pages and pages of activities aimed at grades 5–12 covering the environment in space, spacewalk history, the space shuttle extravehicular mobility unit (EMU), working in space, and future spacesuits. Many diagrams and pictures will work great for a notebook!
Build it With Spacewalks
All kinds of information and activities in this 10-page download.
Space Food and Nutrition
Educator’s Guide with 8 activities aimed at grades K–8 dealing with food!