Planets Teacher Resources
Find Planets educational ideas and activities
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Young scholars use scaling in order to give students an idea of the size of Mars in relation to the Earth and the Moon as well as the distance between them. The young scholars calculate dimensions of the scaled versions of the planets. They use balloons to represent their relative sizes and locations. Students use a model of Earth, Mars and the Moon to explain why scaling is useful when we want to know about objects that are too big or too small to see.
Students discuss the details for a possible future manned mission to Mars. The human risks are discussed and evaluated to minimize danger to astronauts. A specialized launch schedule is provided and the different professions of the crew are discussed. Students depict the crew's activities and living area, and determine how they will make enough fuel to make it off the Red Planet and return home.
If the majority of our planet is covered with water, why do we need to bother conserving it? With a thorough and varied investigation into the location and types of water on the earth, learners will gain an understanding of why this resource is so precious. By creating a liquid scale model, then examining and coloring maps, and finishing up with a discussion, kids should grasp that just a small fraction of the earth's water is drinkable, and should therefore be conserved.
Young astronomers follow a step-by-step procedure for dividing a lump of dough into parts, resulting in a scaled volume set of puny planets. Along with the printable directions is a template chart of planet names on which learners can place each model as it is rolled. Use this activity to go alongside lessons dealing with Next Generation Science Standard MS-ESS1-3. Even middle schoolers enjoy playing with clay!
Looking for a good, technology-based science lesson for your 3rd graders? This lesson is worth a look! They will utilize PowerPoint to create a presentation for the class on a planet of their choice. They also use document cameras, a scanner, and perform internet research to gather facts and about their planet. An excellent lesson!
Young scholars discuss pollution and ways humans create pollution as well as how litter and pollution affect plants and animals. The class participates in a pollution simulation which demonstrates how land, water, plants, animals and humans are all affected by the pollution we create. After the simulation, groups discuss ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create posters displaying their ideas.
Review all of the planets in our solar system with this informative PowerPoint. Each planet is listed on its own slide, accompanied by facts and an image. There are three multiple choice question listed at the end of the presentation.
Students read a news article about a space mission being launched to the planet Pluto. They study the necessary vocabulary and complete an anticipation guide of questions which they revisit after they read the article.
This lesson only works if you are willing to purchase the book, Planet Earth Gets Well, by Madeline Kaplan. It is a colorfully illustrated work that challenges primary learners by having the planet itself talk to them in first person about human impact on the environment. The class brainstorms a list of activities that are healthy for Earth and a list of those that are not. This is an early introduction to scientific literacy!
Blow their minds with a activity on the search for life outside of our planet! A brief video proposes the question of how to define life. A couple of articles investigate the possibility of alien existence. Finally, the class is divided into groups, each with a specific task. They research and prepare pitches to convince investors to contribute financially to further exploration, explain how radio telescopes work, and more!
There is more to the solar system than the typical study of the sun and planets. Launch a study of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets by watching the video The Story of the Solar System, available for purchase through this resource on the Discovery Education website. Then break the class into small groups to research celestial objects. Group members create posters that include illustrations and interesting facts, and prepare a presentation for the class about their object. This plan contains some interesting ideas that may be useful even without the paid video.
In this reading comprehension worksheet, students read a passage about Pluto, then complete a set of 5 multiple choice questions. An answer key is included as well as a reference web site for additional activities.
Students examine the events that developed the Earth. In this habitable activity students view videos on the earths origins.
Students study the planets, draw or make models of them, and diagram their positions in space. In this planets lesson plan, students listen to the music of The Planets while studying them.
Fifth graders Apply the symmetry and angle properties of polygons, using symmetry and angle properties of polygons to solve practical problems. They study tessellates and explain why a shape tessellates.
In this planets worksheet, students fill out a chart where they fill in the distance each planet is from the Earth, and how much travel time in years and hours it would take to get there. Students do this for 8 planets.
Sixth graders are introduced to the planets. In this solar system lesson, 6th graders watch a video about the planets and discuss any questions they have. They read new vocabulary and illustrate the meaning.
In this space science worksheet, students record facts about one of the planets, which they draw in a box on the page. They write the name, distance from the sun, length of day and year, and number of moons. They describe how the planet got its name and write about one interesting fact.
Students complete pre reading, writing, and post reading activities for the book You're Never Too Young To Save The Planet. In this guided reading lesson plan, students complete writing, go over vocabulary, answer short answer questions, have discussions, and more.
In this astronomy planet diameter worksheet, students determine the diameter (in kilometers) of the 8 planets and Pluto using ratios.