Environmental Science Activities Manual: 3-5
|Earth and Space Science
||Space Science B1.00 ||Unifying Concepts of Science
||Organization 2.3 a
GRADE: ESAM: 3-5
CONTENT STANDARD: Earth and Space Science
CONTENT TOPIC: Earth and Space Science
CONCEPT: Our solar system is composed of many objects which revolve
around a star.
CONTENT OBJECTIVE: B1.00 To understand the composition
of our solar system including the similarities and differences
INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: The learner will:
1.01 describe the composition of our solar system.
OUTLINE OF CONTENT:
1.02 recognize the names of the planets in our solar system.
1.03 compare and contrast the nine planets that orbit the sun.
I. Composition of solar system
II. Names of planets in the solar system
TN COMPONENT OF SCIENCE:
Unifying Concepts of Science
To enable students to acquire scientific knowledge by
applying concepts, theories, principles and laws from life/environmental,
physical, and earth/space science.
2.3 ORGANIZATION - Everything is organized as related
systems within systems.
TN STANDARD(S): The learner will understand that:
2.3a Natural phenomena display a wide variety of similarities
BENCHMARK: Offspring may resemble their parents, but individuals
within a general population may vary.
This classroom connector addresses Instructional Objectives 1.01 and 1.02.
Picture of a spacecraft, solar system model, books
on Roman mythology, art paper, magic markers, tempera paints,
different colors of clay, basketball, metric and customary rulers.
Today, class, we are going to describe the composition of
our solar system and recognize the names of the planets in our
(Show a picture of a "Voyager" spacecraft.) This spacecraft left the earth in 1977. It was going to the edge
of our solar system. How long do you think it took to get there?
(response) Would you like to travel in space? (response) What
is in our solar system? (response)
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION: (The following activities are suggested:
In 1989, Voyager 2 made the first close approach to Neptune.
That left Pluto as the only unexplored planet in our Solar System.
(Use a commercially prepared solar system model or a picture
of the solar system for demonstration.) Our solar system includes the sun and all the planets and comets that move around the sun. The nine planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. This sentence on the board, may help you to learn the names of the planets. "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies." Planets are large bodies that revolve around the sun. Let's name the planets as I point to them.
Relative distances from the Sun:
Distance in Centimeters|
Distance in Feet|
1 1/2 ft.
9 1/2 ft.
1. Use the above relative figures of size and distance to make a representation of the solar system. Use metric measurements to have children draw a mural of the solar system, working in small groups. Use art paper, markers, and paints.
2. Customary measurements may be used outdoors, measuring off from the sun. Let a child or children be a planet to show the distances. Use a piece of yarn or string to measure off from the sun, including each planet.
3. Have students make a chart showing the distance in miles of each planet from the sun.)
(1. Have class write a letter(s) to NASA, 400 Maryland Avenue, Washington, DC. 20546, asking for information about the space program.
2. Divide the class into groups, 4 to a group. Each group will be responsible for making a model of the planets, using clay of different colors. A basketball could be used for the sun. Compare the size of the planets.
3. ENRICHMENT RESEARCH - Roman Mythology: The names of the planets are derived from Roman Mythology. Jupiter is named after the father of the gods. Students can use books on mythology to learn about these characters. They can work in small groups and report to the class.)
Write the names of the planets, in order from the sun, using the sentence clue on the board. Draw the planets in order from the sun.
This classroom connector addresses Instructional Objectives 1.03.
Three 30 minutes instruction periods
Clay or papier-mache, poster board, resource material for reports
Tell your neighbor the name of the planet we live on (Earth). Are all the planets alike? (no) Today, you will compare and contrast some of the planets.
I want you to use this time to pick one planet and make a report using the books and resources I've brought to class. When your reports are complete, you will read them out loud to the class. After they have all been read, we'll compare the planets. (Have library books and resource books available for children to use. Divide the class into nine groups. Assign each group a planet. Each group is to pretend that they are going to visit their planet. They are to research their planet and report to the class all of the interesting facts they can find about their planet.)
ENRICHMENT: (The following activities are suggested:
1. Making Models: The students can use their information to construct models of the planets they have researched. They can use clay or papier-mache to recreate the planet surfaces. These could also be displayed with their reports.
2. Travel Posters: Each small group task is to make a large drawing of the planet on the poster board. The poster should also include information about the planet. Have the groups design the posters like the travel posters that advertise places to visit. The posters should make people interested in visiting the planets.)
Each person will write one question about your planet, and include the answer. Then you will choose someone to answer your question. We will do this together, as a class, taking turns.
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