Lesson 2: The difference between comets, meteors and asteroid


This activity requires approximately one 30-minute class

  • One class for students to complete the Venn diagram for Comets, Meteors and Asteroids


Record observations using a single word, notes in point form, sentences, and simple diagrams and charts (e.g., use a data table to record night sky observations)
Compile and display data, by hand or by computer, in a variety of formats including frequency tallies, tables, and bar graphs (e.g., prepare a diagram showing the orbits of the planets)
Draw a conclusion, based on evidence gathered through research and observation, that answers an initial question (e.g., conclude that simulated flour craters are deeper and wider when the marble is heavier or is dropped from greater heights)
Describe the physical characteristics of components of the solar system - specifically, the sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and meteors

General Objectives

Through this activity, students will become more familar with both the unique characteristics and the similarities of comets, meteors and asteroids. Students will also learn how to group and sort information with the use of Venn diagrams.

Curricular Connections

  • Language Arts
    • Using graphic organizers to group information

Lesson Overview

This activity involves having students analyze and order a list of characteristics pertaining to comets, meteors, and asteroids.

Materials and Resources

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  • comet
  • meteor
  • meteoroid
  • asteroid

Developing the Lesson

Begin with focus questions:

Do you know the difference between comets and a meteors?
Did you know that comets travel across the sky very slowly?
Do you know where comets come from?

  1. The teacher should then provide students with brief overview to comets, metoers, and asteroids.
  2. The teacher will then distribute and explain the worksheets to the students.
  3. Students are to use the list of characteristics at the bottom of the worksheet to fill in the Venn diagram.
  4. Students should work in groups of two to decide how they will fill in the diagram.
  5. Student will need to identify the similarities and differences between the comets, meteors and asteroids.
  6. Students must be able to justify and explain why they placed the characteristics in the different parts of the diagram.
  7. Once all students have had the opportunity to complete the diagram, begin the closure acvitity.


As a closure activity, the teacher will review the diagram with the students. The teacher should make an overhead image of the diagram to fill in eliciting feedback from the students. Once completed the teacher should summarize the characteristics displayed in the diagram.


Once the entire activity has been completed, the teacher should take in the students worksheets for grading. Students should also be evaluated on their ability to work in small groups.