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Study Game: Planets!

Study Game: Planets! Activity

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See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Physical Science

An easy and fun way to review astronomy information, or other types of study materials, is to use the “Mix & Match Planet Game.” You can reinforce essential knowledge in a non-threatening, stress-free way by making and playing this game together. All you need are pencils, paper and some scissors to get started. When you finish, your child will be ready for that big solar system test - with planet facts lined up and in order!

What You Need:

  • White paper
  • Pencils
  • Scissors

What You Do:

  1. Cut paper into approximately 60 cards. Make:
    • 27 planet cards (3 sets of planet names)

    • 27 cue cards (3 descriptions, or “cues,” for each of the 9 planets)

The following chart contains the planet names and 3 cues for each:

Planet

# of moons

Length of Year

Temperature

Mercury
0

88 days

-279F to 800F

Mars
2

687 days

-266F to -62F

Venus
0

225 days

896F

Earth
1

365 days

-130F to 136F

Jupiter
16

4,333 days

-278F

Saturn
18

10,759 days

-292F

Pluto (dwarf planet)
1

90,800 days

-364F

Uranus
15

30,685 days

-346F

Neptune
8

60,190 days

-353F
  1. Once you have finished labeling the cards, begin the game by making one pile of planet cards and spreading out the cue cards face down. Player 1 turns over the first planet card and chooses a cue card. If the planet card and cue card match, Player 1 keeps the pair. If Player 1 does not make a match, the planet card goes into a discard pile and the cue card is turned face down.
  2. Player 2 now takes a turn. He can either choose the top planet card from the discard pile or a new planet card, and then turn over a cue card. If Player 2 makes a match, he keeps the pair. Play continues in this way, resembling the old “Memory” game where players try to remember where certain cards are on the table. Once all planet cards are used, choose from the remaining cards in the discard pile. The game is over when all planet cards have been matched up with a cue card. The player with the most pairs wins.

Tips:

  • Play variations of the game depending on how many facts your kid is able to memorize.
  • Motivate your child by providing prizes for the winner (and a consolation prize for the runner-up). A stargazing excursion, perhaps?
  • Immediately following the game, give your child a verbal “quiz” to see what facts she remembers about planets. The next day, give her the same quiz to determine how many facts she has retained.
Brigid Del Carmen has a Master's Degree in Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders/Emotional Impairments. Over the past eight years, she has taught Language Arts, Reading and Math in her middle school special education classroom.

Updated on Jul 22, 2014
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See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Physical Science
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