Lesson Plan

Eyes on the Solar System

Explore the Solar System and learn about the planets in it (created by our Common Sense PLN)
Luke J.
Technology coordinator
Spry Elementary Community School
Chicago, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Students will be able to...

  • Explain in their own words what an orbit is.
  • Describe gravity and gravitational pull.
  • Create an Educreation and restate facts about a planet of their choosing.
Grades K – 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook

Show the “Solar System” video (https://jr.brainpop.com/science/space/solarsystem/) to the entire class, and then review the “Word Wall” together.

This is a subscription based web-site, and a school/district log-in is required to view this view.


Student Instructions

Students then choose to take the Easy Quiz or Hard Quiz (Online Version) independently if they have access to their own machines, or they can do this together as a class, and raise their hand when done to show the teacher their understanding of the video (i.e. 4/5). For any remaining time, students can explore the “Solar System” activities, such as “Write About It,” “Draw About It,” “Activity,” “Belly Up,” and/or “Game.” If students have access to a printer, they can print one of the above activities.


2 Direct Instruction

Create student accounts on newsela.com and assign them to read the article "NASA finds 3 new planets where life could exist."


Student Instructions

Students will read and discuss the article and answer the quiz.

3 Guided Practice

Introduce the website Wonderopolis and explain how to navigate the site to search for a wonder they are curious about related to the solar system


Student Instructions

Students will use the search tool with the keyword solar system and then choose a “wonder” based on their curiosity.  After watching the video they will then work through the activities: Wonder Words / Word Challenge, Try it Out, and Test Your Knowledge


4 Independent Practice

Download and install the NASA Eyes program on computers. Assign partners/small groups and choose a planet for each team to explore. Facilitate learning by going around to each team and ask probing/guiding questions.


Student Instructions

Go to Britannica ( http://school.eb.com/ ) online to research facts about their planet. Once teams have 5 interesting facts about their planet (size, gravity, distance from Earth, etc.), use Nasa Eyes (http://eyes.nasa.gov) to get a visual sense of the sheer size and breadth of the Solar System.


5 Wrap-Up

Guide students to create an illustration of the solar system topic with an audio recording explaining it.  For kinder you can limit this to one page and illustration while for third grade you may choose to have them add pictures from the photo library on several pages.


Student Instructions

Students open the app and draw a picture of the concept they are teaching to their classmates.  They push the record button and describe the solar system idea.