Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Solar System

Kathy Peters
Bay District Schools


This lesson is a follow-up to a unit on the Solar System. Students select one aspect of the Solar System to research. From information gleaned, students write expository reports and participate in the development of a multimedia presentation.


The student selects and uses a variety of appropriate reference materials, including multiple representations of information, such as maps, charts, and photos, to gather information for research projects.

The student creates expository responses in which ideas and details follow an organizational pattern and are relevant to the purpose.


-Multimedia Computers
-Software such as Accelerated Readers Testing Materials
-Software such as:
Microsoft Encarta
Microsoft Explorapedia: World of Nature
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Write
-The Internet
-A Science Textbook such as DISCOVER THE WONDER. Grade 4, Scott Foresman, Chptrs.1,2,3


1. Be aware of the requirements of expository writing and address these elements with students prior to the lesson.

2. Ensure the writing checklist and rubric are understood by the students before actual writing takes place. (See Associated File.)

3. Become familiar with PowerPoint and all other software titles.

4. The multimedia presentation involves scanning pictures from various sources into the presentation. Have access to a scanner and the skills necessary to teach students to use a scanner.

5. Project checklist needs to be copied for all students. (See Associated File.)

6. Writing rubric needs to be copied for all students. (See Associated File.)


1. Following a unit on the Solar System, students select one aspect to research.

2. Students begin researching topics through resources, such as, Accelerated Reader, informational software, the Internet, and a science text.

3. Students develop expository reports from information gleaned from research. Distribute copies of the checklist (see Associated File) for students to use as they write their reports and design their presentation.

4. From reports, students develop power statements they can make concerning their field of expertise and incorporate these statements into a PowerPoint Presentation.

5. Students design or locate powerful graphics to accompany their frames of the presentation and scan the images into PowerPoint.


Use the rubric (see Associated File )to assess the students' expository reports and participation in preparing a multimedia presentation.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.

Web Links

Web supplement for The Solar System
NASA Solar System Exploration

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