Lesson Plan

A Closer Look at Our Solar System

Students explore the current model of the solar system while discovering unique characteristics of each planet. Students will create and present Haiku Decks in groups to organize and share information on identification and uniqueness of planets.
Jacqueline B.
Classroom teacher
Clearfield Alliance Christian School
Clearfield, United States
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My Grades 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health & Wellness

Objectives: The student will be able identify each planet in the solar system. The student will be able to provide a unique fact about each planet in the solar system. The student will work in a group to create and present a Haiku Deck to display the former objectives. PA Common Core Science Standard S.3.3.4.B1: Identify planets in our solar system and their basic characteristics.

Grades 5 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Have students watch the Animoto video of the planets of the solar system. Ask students what they remember from the last lesson (Our Changing Understanding of the Solar System). See if students remember the mnemonic strategy of the names of the planets. Ask students if there are major differences among the planets. Ask students how we can tell the planets apart from one another. Distribute step-by-step directions of how to make a Haiku Deck. Break students into groups of four and distribute an iPad to each group. Model how to select template. Show students how to enter and edit photos and text into each slide. Show students how to save and share the Haiku Deck. Remind students to ask each other and you for help with the iPad instead of getting frustrated with it. Remind students the iPads are scientific tools and not toys. Formative Assessment- Listen for misconceptions and interests about what students may wish to learn and do in their Haiku Decks.

Student Instructions

Watch the video. Recall what you learned from the last lesson about the developing understanding of the current solar system. Work together to remember the mnemonic strategy of the names of the planets. State things you want to learn more about the planets. Work in your group to follow the directions and create your first slide in your Haiku Deck.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Reading

Ask students to make their iPads go to sleep. Have students popcorn read pages 212-214 in their Observing God’s World science textbooks. Interrupt reading to ask comprehension, analysis, and reflective questions in connection to why astronomers made changes to Kepler’s model of the solar system and the difference among the planets. Listen for misconceptions and areas where students need further support.

Student Instructions

Student: Students will read aloud two paragraphs each, and then popcorn another student to read. Students will participate in classroom discussions, and ask questions concerning things that are unclear.

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

Guide students to access the Solar System Review by entering the PIN: ICTEV in the "Join Session" box or click on this link. The Nearpod presentation includes a fact about each planet we found in the textbook, as well as pictures. Explain there are a few drawing activities where students touch the screen, a poll where the group decides on an answer together, and a review quiz at the end of the presentation. Show students how to navigate from activity to activity. Monitor the students as they complete the presentation as a group. Remind students they are allowed to use each other for help; however, students may not use the book or their notes. Formative Assessment: Watch for teamwork and social skills as students complete the review in groups. Use responses by groups as a way to decide who needs more individual instruction with regards to the unique traits and basic identification of the planets.

Student Instructions

Complete the Nearpod presentation together as a group. Encourage each other to participate. Use each other but not your books or notes when you are stuck on a question. Agree on the poll question before submitting the answer. Take turns touching the iPad screen. Let the teacher know when you are done so your answer can be reviewed and you move on to the next activity.

4 Independent Practice

As students complete the guided practice, allow groups to continue working on their group’s Haiku Deck of the planets’ identities and characteristics. Help students where you are needed, but let the students create and work out scientific and social issues themselves when possible. Make sure each group’s Haiku Deck has at least one fact of identification or uniqueness for each planet. Make sure students save and share as they complete the activity.

Student Instructions

Work together to give at least one fact on each planet. The fact can be how to identify the planet or an interesting and unique fact about the planet. Share the iPad and encourage each other. Let the teacher know when you are done with the Haiku Deck to make sure you save and share it properly.

5 Wrap Up

Have each group present their Haiku Deck. Each student must speak at least twice. Have students provide compliments and critiques to support higher learning and accuracy. Summative Assessment: Watch to see if each planet is discussed with at least one fact. Make sure each students speaks and can be heard. Make sure other groups listen and provide supportive and appropriate feedback.

Student Instructions

Present your Haiku Deck to the class. Each student in the group must speak at least twice. Listen to the other presentations and be ready to provide positive feedback with supportive critiques and compliments. The accuracy of and your behavior during the presentation will be graded.