The Solar System: Learning about Planets
Students will be able to identify the planets in the Earth's solar system. Students will be able to determine the position of the planets from the sun.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Tell your students that they will be learning about the planets today.
- Ask your students if they can name the planets.
- List the names of the planets on the board.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Ask your students if they know where each planet is located in relation to the Earth.
- Explain to your students that there is a trick to remembering the planets in relation to the sun. Explain to your students that they can easily remember the planets' relation to the sun if they memorize the sentence, My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nachos.
- Explain that the first letter of each word in that acronym represents the name of a planet in relation to the sun.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)
- Ask your students to complete the worksheet Our Solar System with a partner.
- Remind them to use the acronym to help them complete the worksheet.
- Set the timer to 5 minutes.
- Go over the worksheet as a class.
- Give each student the Planet Crossword Puzzle worksheet.
- Complete the crossword as a class by asking students to guess which planet is represented by each picture. Tell students a fact or two about each planet as you have them fill out the crossword. For example, Saturn has rings, Pluto used to be considered a full planet, and Jupiter has a famous red spot.
Independent Working Time (60 minutes)
- Take your students to the library.
- Ask the librarian in advance to pull out a few books on planets for the students.
- Direct each student to pick a planet.
- Ask the students to take their Research a Planet worksheets to the library. Have them fill out the worksheet as they look through books about their planets in the library.
- Ask students to finish their research at home if they don't finish by checking out books related to their planets.
- Instruct students to write a few more facts about their planets on notebook paper.
- Enrichment: Instruct your students to complete the Make a Planet worksheet. This activity will make students think creatively about what they would like to have in a planet.
- Support: Ask students to draw and color a picture of the solar system. This will enable students to visualize the position of the planets in relation to the sun. Have them label the names of the planets using the My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nachos acronym.
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Ask students to take out a sheet of paper and answer questions about the planets. Potential questions include: Which planet is closest to the sun? Which planet is the farthest from the sun? Which planets are closest to the Earth? Which is the fourth planet in the solar system?
Review and Closing (20 minutes)
- Ask students to present their Research a Planet worksheet to the class along with other facts that they found.