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The Planets in Our Solar System - Science Lesson Plan

In the following lesson, students shall demonstrate a knowledge ofÖearth and space
science through direct experience, including and understanding of (E) the characteristics of objects. Students will learn the nine planets in our solar system, their order, and a key
characteristic of each one.

Grade Level: 3-4
Lesson: The Planets In Our Solar System

The nine planets in our solar system including their order and key characteristic of each one.

1. Students will recognize the order of the planets in our solar system.
2. Students will learn a few key characteristics of each planet.

Plain, white paper
Index cards with key characteristics of each planet
Big picture of planet with characteristic on it to show students
Copy of the Planets In The Solar System song|

1) Can anyone tell me what the planets are in our solar system? If they aren't all mentioned, give them hints. For example, start out by giving them the first letter of the planet name or tell them it sounds like something else. If they still don't get it then you can tell them. Write all of the planets on the chalkboard.
2) Tell the students that they will be learning what all of the planets are and what kinds of things are unique to each one.
3) Go through each planet with the students by showing them the big pictures and characteristics. Start with the planet closest to the sun and work your way out. The order of the planets starting with the one closest to the sun is Mercury. Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter. Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Talk about the different characteristics and compare and contrast some of the planets.
4) Students will then get into groups of about 3 or 4. They will be given two index cards for each group with a characteristic of a planet on each card. Students will have to try and figure out which characteristic goes with what planet. The characteristics were found on these two web pages:
5) With the help of the students, make a chart on the chalkboard of the correct order of
the planets and the key characteristics listed underneath. Start with the group that has Mercury then Venus, etc.
6) (Optional) Introduce the Planets In The Solar System song to the students. Hand out
a copy to each student. Sing the first verse for the students and then ask them to join in on the second verse. Continue to sing the rest of the song.
7) Ask the students if they think the song has helped them learn the planets and some
characteristics better.
8) You could also split the class up into two groups and have one group start out and the other half could echo them.

Have the students write a letter to a friend about their favorite planet. Have them tell the
other person what life is like on their planet and how they live. What do they live in, what type of job do they have, what do they eat, etc? The students will also be evaluated during the learning activities that they do during the lesson. I would also have the students construct a diagram of the planets in the solar system starting with the sun and working their way out.

Tune: The Bear Song: Planets in the Solar System
Close to the sun (echo)
Is Mercury, (echo)
There is no fun(echo)
But itís rocky (echo)
Close to sun is mercury, there is no fun but itís rocky (all together)

The Evening Star, (echo),
Is what they call...
The planet Venus...
Even in the Fall...
The Evening Star is what they call
The planet Venus even in the fall.

The earth is made...
Of rock and gas...
It only has...
Life on it...
The earth is made of rock and gas
It only has life on it.
The planet Mars...
It has two moons...
It's most like earth...
But with no loons...

The planet Mars it has two moons
It's most like earth but with no loons.
A Great Red Spot...
Is what it's got...
It is the largest...
.And called Jupiter...

A Great Red Spot is what it's got
It is the largest and called Jupiter.
The planet Saturn...
Has lots of rings...
The second largest...
But with no wings...

The planet Saturn has lots of rings
The second largest but with no wings.
Tipped on its side... And made of gas... Uranus is green......
And a bluish mass...

Tipped on its side and made of gas
Uranus is green and a bluish mass.
This planet has...
An icy moon...
You can't see Neptune...
Not even at noon ...

This planet has an icy moon
You can't see Neptune not even at noon.
Someone uncovered...
This tiny planet...
It was discovered...
And named Pluto...

Someone uncovered
this tiny planet
It was discovered
and named Pluto.


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