Lesson Plan

Our Planets

This is an interactive science lesson, which focuses on discovering planet features and presentation.
Jennifer S.
Classroom teacher
Milton Elementary, Milton, WV
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My Grades 3
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...name the planets in our solar system, describe key facts, and present to a group.

SC.O.3.1.09 apply mathematical skills and use metric units in measurements.

SC.O.3.2.19 describe the similarities and differences among the planets

SC.O.3.3.02 use models as representations of real things

ELA.3.SL.C14.3 speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. 

ELA.3.SL.C14.1 report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace. 

English Language Arts
Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Students will view the Solar Walk app as a class.  Students will view the planets and discover how the planets make up our solar system as a whole.  At this time, students will be able to discuss what they already know about the planets.  What are some similiarities and differences among the planets?  

2 Direct Instruction

Students will view the Solar System Explorer app during whole group instruction.  Students will get a chance to view the planets, and discover key facts about each planet.  This app goes into more depth about the planets.  These questions will help guide students:

  • How do the planets compare in size?
  • Which planet is the largest?
  • Which planet is the smallest?
  • What are at least two interesting facts about each planet?
  • How do the planets move around the solar system?
  • Why wouldn't we be able to live on ____ planet?


3 Guided Practice

Students will be divided into groups and will view the Britannica Kids: Solary System app.  Students will have a chance to play interactive solar system games to check for student understanding.  Once students have a good understanding of the solar system, they will move on to the Independent Practice.

4 Independent Practice

While students are in small groups, they will have a chance to do more in depth planet exploration with the use of the Solar System Explorer app and other classroom resources.  Students will make their own solar system model using a salt-dough recipe.  Students will follow the Size of Planets diagram to make planets to scale according to size.  Once they have made the planets out of dough, students will leave the planets to dry.  Once dried, students will paint details onto the planets and place them in the correct order on a poster board.  Students will then create a presentation on key facts of the solar system model they have created.  

5 Wrap-Up

Once students have their presentation ready, students will create an imovie video that will be shown to the class.  Students will focus on speaking in complete sentences, reporting on key facts, describing similarities and differences among the planets, and describing how their model of the planets represents the solar system.  

Extension Activity Ideas:

  • Students create their own true/false assessment using planet facts they have learned.
  • Choose a planet and write a story about what life would be like living on this planet.