World Space Week Teacher Lesson Plan

Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Elementary, Middle and High School Students. Includes discussion questions and learning outcomes.

World Space Week is celebrated each year between October 4th and 10th. The UN declared this observance in 1999, as an "international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition."

Two historical events open and close World Space Week: 

*October 4, 1957 - The launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1

*October 10, 1967 - The signing of the Outer Space Treaty of international space law


Read the following stories about inspiring women from different parts of the world who overcame obstacles and became astronauts. 

How did each of these women demonstrate grit and determination? What other character traits do they share?

Mae Jemison

By: Allison Podzunas
Mae Jemison is an American astronaut, a crew member of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and was the first black woman to travel to space.



Chiaki Mukai

By: Claudia Herrera Hudson
Chiaki Mukai is the first Japanese woman in space and the first Japanese citizen to do two spaceflights.

Judith A. Resnik

By: Alyssa from Ohio
Judith A. Resnik inspired others with her determination to become a scientist and an astronaut.

Sally Kristen Ride

By: Amanda Botts
Sally Ride is an astronaut, physicist, and was the first American woman to travel into space.

Peggy Whitson

By: Alex Gaytan
Peggy Whitson was the first female chief of NASA’s astronaut corps. (2/9/1960)

A story about Mae Jamison with translation to French and a story about Ellen Ochoa with a translation to Spanish. 



Mae Jemison

By: Christian Walsh
Mae Jemison dreamed of going to space since childhood.

Mae Jemison (French)

By: Christian Walsh
N’observe pas de limites à cause de l’imagination limitée des autres. Et ne limite pas les autres à cause de ton imagination limitée .

Ellen Ochoa

By: Daniel Chavez
As the first Hispanic female astronaut and a co-inventor of three patents, Ellen Ochoa is a shining example of female empowerment.

Ellen Ochoa (español)

By: Daniel Chávez

Story translated into Spanish


Mae C. Jemison Typography

By: Laila Radford
Mae Jemison is an American hero and astronaut. The first Black female astronaut to go to space.

Ride by Lindsay from Victoria, British Columbia

By: Lindsay VanRooyen
This piece is a tribute to my hero Sally Ride and it incorporates references to her career and achievements.

Mae Jemison

By: Saraih from John Muir School

Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space.

Valentina, First Woman in Space

By: Mariana from the US

Mariana celebrates Valentina, the first woman in space.

Sally Ride

By: Georgia Rowan

Additional Multimedia Resources



Students watch Bella Gaia and discuss how the film demonstrates the relationship between humans and our ecosystem.

(Please note that if students view on their own device, they are able to get a 360 degree view.)


Bella Gaia VR

Produced by:Kenji Williams

BELLA GAIA is an unprecedented NASA-powered immersive experience that communicates without words.

Valentina Mindoljevic

Producer: Emina Kujundzic and Goran Tiro

Valentina Mindoljevic is a physics teacher in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina who challenges and inspires her students.



Students watch this film about Valentina Mindoljevic, a physics teacher in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina who inspires her students.

Has a teacher inspired you? 

Share their story with MY HERO through written stories or film. 

After reading the stories about John Glenn, Guion S. Bluford Jr. Chris Hadfield, and Yuri Gagarin, students are encouraged to research other space pioneers and share their stories with MY HERO.

Guion S. Bluford, Jr.

By: Jonathan from Michigan

Guion S. Bluford Jr. was the first African American in space, and the second person of African ancestry.

John Glenn

By: Rivers

John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Commander Chris Hadfield

By: Wendy Jewell from The My Hero Project
Commander Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian to become the commander of the International Space Station.

Listen and Read Along

Neil deGrasse Tyson

By: Daren from Hawesville
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, cosmologist and science communicator.

Yuri Gagarin

By: Gleb from Victoria

This story about Yuri Gagarin is available in text with audio, so students can listen as they read. Great for ESL/ELL students and emerging readers.

Space Stories and Art for Young Readers - by Young Readers

Mae Jemison

By: Chase, Robert, Logan and Kyleigh from Reeds Spring

Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space.

Use the story about Mae Jemison, written by younger elementary students, as a model for a class activity integrating writing skills and art.

Project Ideas:

Individually, students create an illustration about their hero and write a few sentences. 

Collaboratively, students work together to illustrate parts of a common hero's life with accompanying text. 

Submit students' projects to MY HERO.

Sally Ride

By: Georgia Rowan

Sally Ride was the first woman to travel in space.

The story about Sally Ride was written by an upper elementary student.

Project Idea: Students write a story about their space hero, using sentence and paragraph structure appropriate to their grade level. Students create an illustration of their hero to accompany the story, and submit their project to MY HERO. 

This story about Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut to take over as Commander on the International Space Station, was written by a 5th grade student. 


Chris Hadfield

By: Pauli from Calgary

Following Art and Activities are Appropriate for All Grade Levels

Students analyze the following pieces of visual art. 

Students create original artwork representing their space hero to submit to MY HERO. Teachers may assign a medium to integrate in the curriculum or allow students to chose their own.


Neil Armstrong

By: Sarah Dutton from Kentucky

American astronaut and aeronautical engineer who was the first person to walk on the moon

Infinite Universe

By: Vincent Gordon

John Glenn

By: Ronan from Westerville

John Glenn was an aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician.

Yuri Gagarin's Earth

By: Solbok Yi of Memphis

Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin inspires this student.

Chris Hadfield by Olivia from Alberta, Canada

By: Olivia

This student chose Chris Hadfield because he is an astronaut and the student really likes space.


Learning Outcomes

Students will develop critical thinking skills as they compare written word, film and art. Students will develop research skills as they explore heroes making advancements in space exploration. 



Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.



Laura Nietzer

The World Space Week lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Additional Resources: NASA Photos and Posters Illustrate the Beauty   in Space 

Space Shuttle - April 1983


Photo of astronaut in space

Hubble Mosaic of the Majestic Sombrero Galaxy

By: NASA/ESA/Hubble

An amazing image of a Galaxy

The Helix Nebula

By: NASA/ESA/Hubble

A Nebula photographed in space

Opposite Hemispheres of Neptune

By: NASA/ESA/Hubble

Neptune beautifully captured and recorded

Visible-Light Image of Jupiter

By: NASA/ESA/Hubble

The abstract beauty of Jupiter's surface photographed

NASA The Grand Tour Poster


NASA Celebrates 40 years of voyager exploration.

Voyager Modern Poster Celebrating 40 years


NASA celebrates 40 years of the Voyager Space exploration program.

NASA Voyager Disco Poster


NASA celebrates 40 years of Voyager Program with free posters.


World Space Week
Credit: World Space Week
Credit: NASA
Space Weather
Credit: Space Weather

Credit: NASA
NASA Image Archive Link
Credit: MY HERO
Secrets of the Universe Film Website
Credit: Secrets of the Universe

Students Can Enter Contests and Win Prizes!

Organizer created on 9/5/2019 1:42:09 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 9/14/2023 3:36:37 PM by Laura Nietzer