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What Makes Up the Solar System?

Objectives:

  • The students will learn about the Solar System.

  • The students will be able to define the terms: sun, planet, dwarf planet, satellite, asteroid, comet, and meteor.

  • The students will be able to name the planets of the Solar System.

  • The students will be able to explain how the sun is the center of the Solar System.

  • The students will be able to explain how the Solar System formed.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the night sky. When you look up at the sky at night, what do you see?

  • Now, think about Earth. What makes it possible for us to live on Earth?

  • Do you think the other planets have the ability to support life?

  • Do you think there is life on other planets?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about Earth?

  • What do you know about the Earth as part of the Solar System?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

**When the unit is over, download the final space assessment for all of the lessons for free.

**Here's the answer key.

Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • How the Solar System formed.

  • The definitions to the terms: sun, planet, satellite, asteroid, comet, and meteor.

  • The names and order of the planets of the Solar System.

  • The sun is center of the Solar System.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • The teacher will begin the class by handing out the “What I Know About the Solar System” introductory worksheet. The students will write down everything they know about the Solar System. The students will have about 10 minutes to complete the worksheet. Once the students have completed the worksheet, the teacher should review. The worksheets should be collected and kept with the teacher until the final lesson of the unit.

**If the teacher prefers, a poster or bulletin board can be made with some of the responses the students wrote. Throughout the unit, the teacher could go to the poster or bulletin board and discuss the responses that are associated with the lesson that had just been presented**

  • Next, the teacher should introduce the “All About the Solar System” Science Journals. Each student will get a journal that they will work in throughout the entire unit. The teacher should review the journals with the students, allowing them to look through the journal for about a minute or two. The teacher should also review the unit outline, which is on page 2 of the journal.

 

  • After the journal is reviewed, the teacher should show the students the video “Solar System”. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4W_aXPFkmE). The video is about 5 minutes long and reviews the planets of the Solar System, facts about each planet, and the reason Pluto has been removed as one of the planets. After the video is over, the teacher should begin a discussion about the content. The teacher should facilitate a discussion about the characteristics of each planet and each planet’s distance from the sun. It is important that the teacher explain the lines that are shown surrounding the Solar System represent each planet’s orbit.

 

  • Next, the teacher will begin presenting the information on the Solar System. If it is possible, project each page of the teacher’s copy of the “All About the Solar System” Science Journal worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project.  The teacher’s copy of the journal has certain words/phrases that are bolded red and highlighted. It is important the teacher explain to the students those words/phrases are to be highlighted in their (students) journal. For this lesson, the teacher should review these pages:

    • Pages 3 & 4: Vocabulary

    • **When reviewing the vocabulary, one idea for the teacher would be to go around the room and have each student read a key term and definition. Clarification should be provided for any key term that is unfamiliar or confusing to the students**

    • Page 5: Planets of the Solar System

    • **The teacher should review the names of the planets. The teacher should teach the students the mnemonic: “My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets” à Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto**

    • Page 6: How Did the Solar System Form: The Nebular Theory

    • **This page is a cloze activity that is goes with the video “The Nebular Theory”**

    • Page 7: What Will You Find in the Solar System?

    • **This page reviews the terms: sun, planet, dwarf planet, satellite, asteroid, comet, and meteor**

  • After the worksheet is completed, the students will break into pairs. The students will create a brochure describing the Solar System. Each pair will get a piece of cardstock or construction paper and crayons/markers/colored pencils. The students can use their science journal as a guide when creating the brochure. Allow the students to work for about 10-15 minutes. Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.

**Each pair can either present the brochures or a gallery walk can be set up. For the gallery walk, each pair will place their brochure on desks throughout the room. The students will walk around and look at their peers’ brochure**

Closure:

  • After the presentation or gallery walk is over, the students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities. The teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students.

  • The students will then fill out the "What I Learned About the Solar System" worksheet. They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About the Solar System” page.

    • The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • Introductory Activity: “What I Know About the Solar System” introductory worksheet

  • Video: “Solar System” by Jessica Wimmer 

  • Introduce: “All About the Solar System” Science Journals

  • Discussion: Science Journal (Pages 3-8)

  • Activity: “Welcome to the Solar System”

  • Discussion of Activity

10 minutes

Introductory Activity: “What I Know About the Solar System” Introductory Worksheet

  • Give each student a “What I Know About the Solar System” worksheet.

  • Have the students write as much as they know about the Solar System.

  • Review once the students have completed the worksheet.

15 Minutes

Solar System Science Journals | Video | Introduction to the Solar System

  • Give each student an “All About the Solar System” Science Journal.

  • Review the unit topics and the science journals with the students.

  • Project each page of the science journal onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • The teacher copy has bolded red and highlighted words. The students will highlight those words in their science journal.

  • Show the students the video: “Solar System” by Jessica Wimmer 

  • Begin presenting the information. The pages that will be presented include: pages 3-8.

15 Minutes

Activity: “Welcome to the Solar System”

  • Have the students break into pairs.

  • Give each pair a piece of cardstock or construction paper and crayons/markers/colored pencils.

  • The students can use their science journal as a guide when creating the brochure.

  • Allow the students to work for about 10-15 minutes.

  • Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.  

**Each pair can either present the brochures or a gallery walk can be set up. For the gallery walk, each pair will place their brochure on desks throughout the room. The students will walk around and look at their peers’ brochure**

Closure/Assessment
10 minutes

  • After the presentation or gallery walk is over, the students should reconvene and the teacher should discuss the activities. The teacher should review the vocabulary words with the students.

  • The students will then fill out the "What I Learned About the Solar System" worksheet. They will then share with the class, or with a partner, some things they wrote down in their “What I Learned About the Solar System” page.

**The students should keep both of the "What I Know" and "What I Learned" sheets in a folder to put them all together into a book when the unit is finished.​**


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.

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