Lesson Plan

Get to Know Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison was the first African American female astronaut to enter space. Use the Get to Know Mae Jemison lesson plan to learn more about this famous scientist. Children will then read and write about her, and create their own paper rocket.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to read and write about famous scientist Mae Jemison, then create their own paper rocket.


(7 minutes)
All About Mae Jemison ReaderWrite About Mae JemisonWho Is Mae Jemison?
  • Introduce the video by asking students if they have ever seen a space shuttle take off, and what they think they will see when they watch the video.
  • Play the video STS-129 HD Launch starting from 1:13-2:10 to show the takeoff of a space shuttle. This video shows a countdown, takeoff, and the rocket boosters coming off the shuttle at around 3:30.
  • Ask students to share what they saw in the video. There will be vocabulary that students may not understand, so focus on the details of what they saw, rather than what the spokesperson says. You can mute the video and narrate yourself if that's helpful.
  • Tell students they will learn more about the first African American female astronaut to enter into space. Mae Jemison rode a space shuttle just like the one in the video.

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Subject Reading & Writing