Grade K-2 Lesson
Basic: Using planets pictured on a poster, the students will learn about the eight planets by coloring and matching their planets to the poster and then create an assigned planet using modeling clay.
Lesson 1: By using a globe to demonstrate, the students will learn the difference between revolution and rotation of planets and then using class members to role play the sun, planets, and moon, they will model revolution and rotation.
Lesson 2: After learning about constellations and then reading the stories of constellations Orion, Pegasus, and Cassiopeia, the students will create their own constellations and stories.
Grade 2-4 Lesson
Basic: The students will review/learn about the planets (moon and sun) by researching and then creating a poster to share with the class which reflects the appearance and includes facts about the planet. This poster will be used in the advanced lesson.
Lesson 1: The Solar System Dance. Using their posters from the Basic Lesson, the students will model the movement of the planets around the sun making sure they are in the correct position and also trying demonstrate the correct rotation as they revolve.
Lesson 2: Planet Size. After seeing the relative sizes compared to fruit and vegetables, the students will gain an understanding of the relative size of the planets by creating scaled models of the planets mathematically and comparing their sizes to each other.
Lesson 3: Planet Distance from the Sun. Using a knotted cord representing distances in the solar system and placing the planets at the appropriate distance, the students will gain an understanding of the massive distances between the plants in our solar system.
Grade 4-5 Lesson
Basic: Using Styrofoam moons, the students will understand the relationship between the Earth, Moon, and Sun and how moon phases are created. The students will also be able to identify the different moon phases from pictures and diagrams.
Advanced: The students will understand the location of the Earth in comparison to the rest of the Universe.
1.4 Use models that illustrate simple concepts and compare those models to the actual phenomenon
4.6. Identify objects (e.g., moon, stars, meteors) in the sky and their patterns of movement and explain that light and heat comes from a star called the sun.
Equipment Provided in the Kit
The Planets in Our Solar System by Franklyn M. Branley
10 Solar System Placemats
Giant Magnetic Solar System
There’s No Place Like Space! By Tish Rabe
PLANETS – A Solar System Stickerbook by Ellen Hasbrouck
Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin
30 Styrofoam balls on a craft stick
Solar System Poster
Orrery (Solar System Model)
Moon Orbit Spin Chart
for more information:
Lauren Rivers, STEM Enrichment Director