# The Solar System. Grade Level: 4 6

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1 The Solar System Grade Level: 4 6 Teacher Guidelines pages 1 2 Instructional Pages pages 3 5 Activity Pages pages 6 9 Crossword Puzzle page 10 Answer Key page 11

2 Classroom Procedure 1. Distribute the Address Card to each of the students. Have them complete it to the best of their ability, with the most important fact for the lesson: They live on Earth in the solar system. 2. Have some of the students share their Address Card. Ask students if they know the names of the other planets in the solar system, or if they can name other objects of the solar system. These could include moons, asteroids, planet rings, satellites, debris, space station, etc. 3. Allow for responses and discussion. 4. Either outdoors or in the gym, have students represent the relative distances each planet is from the Sun: (Assign 2 or 3 students to be a planet giving them a Plane t Label) Prior to beginning, explain to students that this represents distance only, not the size. Be sure students understand scale models. (You may also use the steps in the chart to locate each position starting from the Sun.). a. The students should be in 10 groups/pairs, 8 planets, the sun, and asteroid belt b. Each pair/group with one of the labels. c. Begin with the Sun at the edge of the area you are using, have the Sun group stand there and hold their label d. Take about 1 step (approximately 1 meter or a little more than a yard) and position the Mercury group. e. Take 1 more step and position the Venus group. f. Take ½ step more, position Earth g. Take 1 ½ more steps and position Mars h. Take 4 more steps and position Asteroid Belt i. Take 5 more steps and position Jupiter j. Take 11 more steps and position Saturn k. Take 25 more steps and position Uranus l. Take 27 more steps and position Neptune m. Option: Take 24 more steps and position Kuiper Belt (continued) Approximate Grade Level: 4 6 Objectives: The students will be able to name the planets and other objects of the solar system, identify facts of the planets, compare and contrast the planets, and effectively research one of the eight planets. Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.c CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.6 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1.c CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.2 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.4 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9 CCSS.ELA-iteracy.RST CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.5 Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 3 class sessions Teaching Materials/Worksheets: Solar System content page, two activity pages, homework page, Internet or other resources with planet information Student Supplies: compasses, string, plain white paper, glue/tape, black construction paper, scissors, ruler w/millimeters, Internet access or other resources with information about the planets, supplies for student Planet Presentations Prepare Ahead of Time: Eight planets, Sun, asteroid belt labels, locate an area to do scale model of planet distances from the Sun (120 feet); collect compasses, string to draw circles; create scale model of Sun to display in classroom or have a student volunteer create it during the lesson, using yellow paper (54.8 inches in diameter); make copies of needed pages Additional Resources: (Very substantial site with info) (content and more) (content/videos) (video 4 min) (song video) (15 min video, no talk, soft music playing with images, good to use during an activity) Options for Lesson: Have students work alone with one or both activities. Eliminate one of the activities if trying to save time. Use a smaller distance scale which may be found in resources. Have students turn in Activity Two work and not give presentations. Have students do Activity Two using Power Point display. Do Step 16 as a writing assignment. 1

4 Our Solar System As you look up at a clear night sky many, many stars can be seen. The stars are millions and millions of miles away, but Earth s closest neighbors reside in the solar system. The solar system is the Sun and the objects that travel around it. The Sun is a star similar to the other stars in the sky but it is much closer to the Earth. The Sun is mostly a big ball of gases which includes hydrogen and helium. The closest planet to the Sun is Mercury. Following the hottest planet is Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The path the planets take when traveling around the Sun is ovalshaped, like the drawing to the left, and is called its orbit. Each planet takes a different amount of time to orbit the Sun. For example, it takes the Earth about 365 days to orbit the Sun, so one year on Earth is 365 days long. 3

5 A Year Around the Sun Using Earth time, the following shows the length of a year on each planet, which is the same as the time it takes to make one complete orbit around the Sun: Mercury: Mars: Jupiter: Saturn: Neptune: 88 days 687 days 11.8 years 29.6 years 165 years Venus: 224 days Earth: 365 days Uranus: 84.3 years Notice, the farther the planet is from the Sun, the longer it takes for it to orbit the Sun. How long is a day? Each planet takes a different amount of time for rotating on its axis, too. This is the amount of time it spins one time and determines the length of a day. Using Earth time, the following shows the length of a day on each planet, which is the same as the time it takes for one complete rotation on its axis: Mercury: 60 days Venus: 243 days Earth: 24 hours Mars: 24.3 Jupiter: 9.8 hours Saturn: 10.2 Uranus: 17.1 Neptune: 16 hours Notice, this time, the farther the planet is from the Sun, it usually takes less time to rotate. 4

6 Planet Types The planets of the solar system are also a variety of sizes and are made up of different substances. The four inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are made of rock containing many different minerals. The four outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are mostly made up of different gases. Jupiter is mainly helium, hydrogen, and water. The four outer planets also have rings that encircle them. Other objects in space include the moons of six planets. A moon is a celestial object (object in space) that orbits another body in space. The Earth has a single moon, but other planets have many more. The asteroid belt, another object in the solar system, is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt contains irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids which are believed to be left over from the beginning of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. The objects are rocky and irregular in shape, and some may be hundreds of miles across, but most of the asteroids are very small. There are many other interesting facts about each of the planets which can be found in many books, on the Internet, or using other resources available in the library of from your teacher. An example of an asteroid. 5

7 Activity Page #1 Comparing Planet Sizes Supplies: Name Date compass, string, pencil, glue/tape, black construction paper, plain white paper, scissors, ruler with millimeters Work with your partner and follow the instructions. DIAMETER 1. Use the diameter sizes in the chart to draw a circle for each of the planets. (Remember: Diameter is the distance across the middle of a circle.) 2. Use your compass, or a string and pencil if you cannot use the compass. 3. Carefully draw the circle for each of the planets using the sizes shown. 4. With the scissors trim around the edge of each circle (planet). 5. The smaller planets may be easy to lose, so set them aside so you do not lose them. 6. Once all 8 planets are cut out, glue or tape each of them to the black construction paper. 7. Be sure they are in order. They do not have to be perfectly aligned since all of the planets orbits are not in a straight line. 8. Label each of the planets using the remaining white paper. 9. Create a title for the size model. 6

8 Activity Page #1 Answer each question 1. What do you notice about the sizes of the inner planets versus the outer planets? 2. Why do you think the sizes are so different? 3. Which two planets are closest in size? 4. Which planet is the largest? Smallest? 7

10 Homework Name Date 9

11 Homework ANSWER KEY Name Date 10

12 Address Card (Fill in the information below) My Name Street City State Zip Code County/Township (if applicable) Country Continent Hemisphere (circle): Northern Southern Planet in the Which is a part of the Galaxy. Address Card (Fill in the information below) My Name Street City State Zip Code County/Township (if applicable) Country Continent Hemisphere (circle): Northern Southern Planet in the Which is a part of the Galaxy. 11

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