Out of This World: Free Space Travel Lesson Plan for Grades 6-8

May 18, 2017


In the Classroom

Are you still over the moon about the recent news that NASA has scoped out the largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around a single star? Good news! You can celebrate this momentous discovery with a free space travel lesson plan for grades 6-8, created by Kelly Oh, an IXL Professional Learning Specialist. Read on for more details and to download the lesson.

As students work through this lesson, they will develop an engineering process plan to determine if humans can safely travel to and from one of the seven newly discovered planets.

Anticipatory Set

As an introduction, have students watch the new exoplanets discovery video (included in the lesson plan PDF). After discussing what is shown in the video, students will work together to brainstorm the requirements for human space travel. Students will then complete the engineering-design process vocabulary sheet to ensure understanding of key concepts.

Teaching Strategy

Next, either as a whole class or in small groups, students will read the NASA press release about the planets and complete the top portion of the engineering-design graphic organizers.


In small groups, students will have the opportunity to create their own plan for a human to safely travel to and from one of the seven newly discovered planets. Using the engineering-design process reflection sheet, they will think critically and creatively about details like what kind of prototype they will build, how to evaluate their plan’s success, as well as what to name their plan.


For homework, students can work on the IXL Science skill Engineering practices: Going to the Moon! (available in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade).

The full lesson plans, including vocabulary and activity sheets, are available for download below:

Engineering Practices: Space Travel Lesson Plan for Grades 6-8

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All Comments (4)

patricia May 24, 2017 at 9:33 pm

This is so great. Thanks for sharing. Ive downloaded the full lesson plans!


Grace Saydee June 6, 2017 at 8:41 am



Rayyan August 22, 2017 at 9:49 am

Pleas Add Science and History To Canada IXL I would love to do it because there both so interesting! more than math!


The IXL Team August 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Hi there–We’re glad to hear you’re so interested in science and history! While we don’t have plans to add those subjects to the Canadian edition at the moment, keep an eye on the IXL Blog and social media pages, where we always announce new additions to IXL.


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