The purpose of this unit is to help children develop plausible mechanisms with which to change the red planet from its now uninhabitable state to a planet that could support life and fauna as we know it and to maintain a clean and healthy environment, that being a balanced ecosystem. It is designed for 5th grade students. The unit is divided into 6 sections for instruction—pesticides, ecology, recycling, gardening, Biosphere 2 and the preparation of Mars for habitation. The intent of the first 5 sections is to make children aware of problems that exist on our planet and how the solutions are relevant to maintaining a balanced ecosystem on a newly-inhabited planet. They are not complete units in themselves, but can be elaborated upon with the teacher resource material listed at the end of this paper. Elaborating on these concepts, this unit would take from September to June. Also included are 3 lesson plans, several writing exercises, and a team-based research project.
(Recommended for Science and Writing, grades 4-5)