This lesson is designed to help students understand that “the orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns.
Grade Level: K - 2nd
Length of Time: About 45 Minutes
Objectives & Outcomes
Students will be able to spell and recite the eight planets of our solar system, list the main components of our solar system, and demonstrate the movement of these components in our solar system.
- poster paper
- white board
- dry erase markers
- The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
Opening to Lesson
Students give ideas and participate accordingly, as I fill out the blank K-W-L organizer as a whole class, using large chart paper.
Body of Lesson
Move to the reading area of the room (floorrugspecific corner, etc) Read aloud to the class. The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
(CFU: Ask questions throughout or after reading the book, in order to keep their attention and assess what they understand)
Guided Practice 1
Model the rotation and revolution of the planets around the sun. (Use a large sheet of paper or poster board that can hang around the students necks… label each with the name, a picture, and a fact or two so that students can know the spelling as well as visualize the planets.
Have one student spin in the middle (sun) as other students (planets) spin as they go around the sun. Have students rotate and revolve at different speeds to show there are differences in the planets’ orbits and rotations.
(CFU: Use students to represent the sun and planets… so to know students understand.)
Guided Practice 2
Teach students a mnemonic device about the solar system to help them learn the names of the planets. Have students make a mnemonic flip sheet: Lift the flap to view the Planet name. “My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos.”
(CFU: Walk around the class as students create their flip sheet and recite the mnemonic device aloud to their partner while their partner says the corresponding planet.)
Make a model of the solar system: Have students dip their paintbrush in the paint and then quickly run their index finger along the bottom of the bristles to splatter the paint onto the paper. This creates a background that looks like stars. While these are drying, have students color and cut out the sun and planets from the solar system template and glue
Cut a piece of black cardstock into two 4x12 inch strips. Glue or tape the two strips together end-to-end to create a long piece. Mix white (or glow in the dark) paint with a small amount of water to thin the mixture.
(CFU: Display the finished models or staple the two ends together to form a fun circular hat for students to wear)
Pair share with their table partner, then a few select groups (or all!) can present to the class as a whole.
Assessment & Evaluation
Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing during independent practice and reviewing during guided practice the teacher will be able to evaluate students.
Modification & Differentiation
Students may work in groups or individually in order to complete their solar system assignment. In order to accommodate for all students, allow extra time to review for lower students and extra worksheets to occupy the time of advanced students.
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