Home / Lesson Plans / One Strange Rock – Curriculum Guide

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Narrated by astronauts, the only persons to have had the opportunity to see our home planet from space, the National Geographic documentary One Strange Rock addresses a very fundamental question raised by humankind’s exploration of the Cosmos: Why is the Earth, the third rock from the sun, so very different from the rest of our solar system?

This episodic documentary series tells the story of Earth’s history as seen from a planetary perspective. Within our solar system, planet Earth is utterly unique among the planets, moons, and dwarf planets found there. The inner four planets are rocky, and the four outer planets are large gaseous bodies, with little or no true surface on which to stand. Pluto, with its solid surface made of methane, rocky debris, and water ice, is now relegated to the status of a “dwarf” planet and appears to have been captured by the sun’s gravity. Only Earth has a breathable atmosphere, the ability to “heal” itself following planetary bombardment in its early history and more recent “extinction events,” and very large amounts of liquid water on its surface.


Lesson 1: A Tour of the Solar System (Earth Science, Geology, Biology, General Science)
Lesson 2: The Goldilocks Planets (Earth Science, Geology, Biology, General Science)
Lesson 3: The Soil Is “Alive”: The Gaia Hypothesis  (Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry)
Lesson 4: Mighty Microbes (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry)
Lesson 5: The History of Life (History, Geology, Biology, Chemistry)
Lesson 6: Seeing Earth From Space (Creative Writing, English, Social Studies)
Lesson 7: The History of the Space Program (History, Physics, Social Studies)
Lesson 8: The Air We Breathe (Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Social Studies)

Access all slideshows for our curriculum here


OSR Slideshow Access.pdf