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Planets Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Planets educational resource ideas and activities
Explore the world's beauty with Jean Marzollo's colorful book I Am Planet Earth, the context of a vocabulary study focused on the following in-text words: globe, jungle, paddy, planet, and valley. Discuss the text briefly and introduce the words before reading it aloud. Kids listen for the focus words and context clues, practicing active listening skills. These words each have a set of comprehension questions to help scholars connect word meaning to familiar concepts. Check out the graphic organizers; they aren't just for struggling readers!
What are characteristics of a planet? With this plan, learners investigate the characteristics of the planets in our solar system. They gather research of the nine planets by using the Internet and other research tools. Then they create a model of a planet and present an oral report in small learning groups.
A superb interdisciplinary approach highlights this lesson which incorporates space science knowledge and narrative skills. After reading The Magic School Bus, two excellent poems, and watching a video, all about our solar system, young scholars write about their favorite planet and why they like it. Numerous writing activities are included. Extensions suggested include keeping an illustrated Solar System Journal.
Students use the website Kerpoof to examine the planets. In this solar system lesson, students classify the planets by characteristics, discover new "space vocabulary", and what the planets are made of. Students use KWL charts to organize their information and write a creative story that tells what it would be like to live on one of the planets. This lesson includes adaptations, mulitple activity ideas, clipart, worksheets and online resources.
Learners, in teams, design and construct models of two planets, one hot and the other cold, using a variety of materials. They attempt to create the models out of substances that will actually show the greatest temperature differences by either reflecting or absorbing heat from a light source.
Your class will use a set scale to convert diameters of planets to the model size, the diagram given to expand on the number of planets drawn as concentric circles, and examine the scale that would be needed to fit the larger planets on a page. This fun activity is useful to examine the planets, math scales, and ratios. You could expand on this with astronomy topics, but the instructional activity also goes on to practice more scales used in the area of blueprints and architecture