Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Out of This World (Science)

Janice Jowers
Okaloosa County Schools

Description

The students complete three hands-on, cooperative activities to learn the positions of the planets from the sun. They then draw a pictorial representation of the position of the planets.

Objectives

The student knows the relative positions of all the planets.

Materials

-A model of the distance of the planets from the sun drawn to scale on adding machine tape. Begin with the sun. Mercury is 4 cm. from the sun. Venus is 7 cm. from the sun. Earth is 10 cm (1 dm) from the sun. Mars is 2 dm from the sun. Jupiter is 5 dm from the sun. Saturn is 10 dm from the sun. Uranus is 19 dm from the sun. Neptune is 30 dm from the sun. Pluto is 39 dm from the sun.
-Nine 8 X 10 sheets of paper, each one with the name of a planet printed on it and one 8X10 sheet of paper with the word sun on it
-Construction paper for the students to draw their pictorial representation of the order of the planets from the sun
-A choice of crayons, colored pencils, or markers to complete the pictorial representation

Preparations

1. Prepare the adding machine tape depiction using the measurements listed in the materials of the placement of the planets in the Solar System. Begin with the sun. Mercury is 4 cm. from the sun. Venus is 7 cm. from the sun. Earth is 10 cm (1 dm) from the sun. Mars is 2 dm from the sun. Jupiter is 5 dm from the sun. Saturn is 10 dm from the sun. Uranus is 19 dm from the sun. Neptune is 30 dm from the sun. Pluto is 39 dm from the sun.
3. Cut out a big circle from yellow construction paper to represent the sun for the estimation activity.
4. Write the names of each of the planets on a sheet of 8 X 10 paper.
5. Gather construction paper and coloring devices for the studentsí pictorial representations of the order of the planets from the sun.

Procedures

1. Write the names of the planets on the board in random order.

2. Ask the students to discuss how far they think earth is from the sun. Then randomly select ten students to represent the sun and the planets. Give each of the ten students a paper with the name of the sun or one of the nine planets on it. One student becomes the sun and have the other children place themselves in the order to represent an estimated distance of the spacing of the planets from the sun. Discuss with the other students their ideas about the accuracy of the estimation, have them add their input as to which children should move closer to the sun or further away from the sun.

3. Demonstrate the actual distance of the planets from the sun by unrolling the adding machine pictorial representation that was made according to the scale in the materials section. Discuss the studentsí observations, emphasizing the order of the planets from the sun.

4. Give another ten students the papers with the names of the sun or one of the nine planets on them. One student becomes the sun and have the other children place themselves in the correct order of the planets from the sun. Ask the students in the class if the planets are in the correct order.

5. Repeat this activity with another group of children, having them physically place themselves in the correct order of the planets from the sun. Be sure to include some inner and some outer planets.

6. Have the children individually draw a pictorial representation of the planets in the correct order from the sun. They should label the planets using the random names that are already written on the board, and color their illustrations.

Assessments

Each student will draw a pictorial representation of the order of planets from the sun.
Rubric:
4 - The studentís picture shows the planets in the correct order from the sun. The representation is neat, spelling and capitalization conventions are accurate, and the product is colored.
3 - The studentís picture shows the planets in the correct order from the sun. Most of the representation is neat and most of the spelling and capitalization conventions are accurate and the product is colored.
2 - The studentís picture shows most of the planets in the correct order from the sun. The representation is legible and most of the words have correct spelling and capitalization conventions. Most of the picture is colored.
1 - The studentís picture shows some of the planets in the correct order from the sun. The representation is somewhat legible and some of the correct spelling and capitalization conventions are used. Some of the picture is colored.
0 - Unscorable

Extensions

On nine pieces of paper write the first letter of each planet. Place them on the board in the front of the room in the correct order of the planetsí position from the sun. Explain to the students how mnemonic devices help people remember things. Give them examples of other mnemonic devices, (such as in music to remember the notes use EGBDF Ė Every Good Boy Does Fine, or HOMES for the Great Lakes Ė Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Have the children divide themselves into groups of three or four. Each group should record the first letters of the planets in their correct order from the sun and think of a mnemonic device to remember the correct order. Have the groups share their ideas.

Web Links

Web supplement for Out of This World
Space

Web supplement for Out of This World
Space Images

Attached Files

The rubric for the assessment.     File Extension: pdf

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