Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Browse by Subject
Solar System Teacher Resources
Find Solar System educational ideas and activities
The scale of the solar system is difficult to grasp without some sort of concrete visual; with some register tape and different-sized stickers, teach astronomers of any age just how spread out our solar system really is. Try to use stickers (or have kids draw planets) that are somewhat to scale regarding the relative size of the planets to help with the overall understanding of the concepts.
Scientists are always sorting and classifying objects based on their characteristics. In a hands-on learning activity, young space explorers work together to categorize solar system cards based on their properties. It is up to the young scientists to decide on how the cards will be sorted, whether it be size, color, distance from the sun, or composition. It is a great instructional activity in which learners can apply scientific practices, such as observing, sorting, classifying, and categorizing objects, as they travel through our solar system
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.
Utilizing the classic Magic School Bus series, young scientists explore the solar system. Some excellent worksheets are included in this plan, such as Planet Roll Call and Solar System in Motion. This is an ambitious 5-day unit that should lead to a much greater understanding of our Solar System for your students.
A wonderfully designed, and very thorough lesson plan on the planets in our solar system. Designed for third graders, this instructional activity has learners use technology and multimedia tools to research, explore, and create information about the solar system. The class is transformed into a 10-station learning center where children explore the solar system, and end up creating a book about the planets and a brochure that focuses on a planet of their choice. Terrific!
Aspiring astronomers solve problems involving mixed units of the same attribute, including time, money, length, and area. They convert large numbers into scientific notation, then compute and compare ratios to explain why drawing completely accurate scale drawings of the solar system is not feasible. An interdisciplinary approach to teaching math!
Replete with background information and handy links, what you'll find here is a wide scope of activities and resources to support study of our solar system. You could build an effective, cross-curricular study out of the pieces you'll find here. Links to a matching quiz, informative readings, note-taking templates, rubrics, and other resources abound. However, the pieces are not presented in a cohesive, linear fashion, nor with many procedural details. I'd use it as the basis for a unit on the solar system, but don't expect to find a ready-made resource to use in class tomorrow!
A unique lesson on the solar system, and some of the mathematics associated with it, is here for your high schoolers. Pupils are put into groups of four, and each group is assigned one of the planets from our solar system. They must perform mathematical conversions and calculations to determine their planet's distance from the sun. Two excellent worksheets are embedded in the plan, which will make implementation quite easy. Very good!
Young astronomers identify the major parts of the solar system. They use computers, the library, and textbooks to find information on the planets, the asteroid belt, and the sun. Pairs of pupils get together and create a PowerPoint presentation on the solar system that is shown to the whole class. Additionally, our moon is studied, and learners create a drawing that depicts all of the phases of the moon along with the names for each phase. Lots of great learning in this lesson!
Students analyze their knowledge about the solar system. In this solar system review lesson, students look at a picture of the solar system on the SMART Board, name them in order, and are able to identify the sun as the center. They complete a chart that acts as an assessment.
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.
Now here is a great way to incorporate art into a science lesson. Learners will use value shading to draw a scale representation of the planets in the solar system. They'll determine the location of the sun in relation to each planet; distance them according to scale, and draw each with charcoal and pastels, focusing on proper shading techniques. Photos, samples, and a shading packet are all included.
Students make several models of the solar system to learn the positions of the planets in the solar system as well as relative distances and sizes. Creation of these models will help them identify the planets by size, shape, color, features, and position in the solar system. This lesson also includes practice of key vocabulary words as well as the skills of asking and answering specific questions.
Students research the planets in the solar system and write about a selected planet. They listen to the book "The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System" and watch the video "The Magic School Bus: Gets Lost in Space." Students explore the Magic School Bus website, and write about their favorite planet in the form of a poem.
Linking to good Internet resource can be fun and educational. Students use a series of Internet sites to explore the wonders of the solar system. They rotate through 4 different stations to explore, the lesson concludes with the creation of a Solar System Booklet. Several web sites, project samples, and planet descriptions are included.