Solar system lesson plan


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Solar system lesson plan

  1. 1. Ana PerezVanessa GarciaCindy AlvarezEva Jacinto Solar System Lesson PlanGrade: K-12 appropriateContent Area: Science and GeographySubject: The Solar SystemContent Standards Earth Sciences The solar system consists of planets and other bodies that orbit the Sun in predictable paths. As a basis for understanding this concept: o Students know the Sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system and is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. o b. Students know the solar system includes the planet Earth, the Moon, the Sun, eight other planets and their satellites, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.Content Objectives To help students obtain a clear understanding of the size of the sun and the other planets in our solar system. Help students grasp the concept of the vastness of our universe.Student Objectives Engaging students to be excited and in awe of the huge world we live in! Teaching basic concepts of measurement and distance (inches, yards, miles) Strengthening knowledge of planets in the solar system Increasing understanding of size of the sun and other planets Learning the scale of the solar system Encouraging children to explore the universe on their own.Materials Sun – Inflatable Ball / bowling ball size Mercury -a pinhead Venus - a peppercorn Earth- a second peppercorn Mars -a second pinhead
  2. 2. Jupiter – a chestnut or a pecan Saturn – a hazelnut or an acorn Uranus – a peanut or coffee bean Neptune a second peanut or coffee bean Pluto - a third pinhead/ or smaller item Pieces of paper or cards to pin/place planets on Label each piece of paper with the name of the planets The pinheads will need to be pinned to labeled cards or paper to make them visible. Find space near the school where you can walk one thousand yards.Questions Does anyone know what makes up our solar system? Who can tell me what is the biggest planet? Does anyone know how far it is from the Sun to the Earth? Who knows something really interesting about the solar system that you want to share with the class? o Teacher Information to share o From the Sun to the Earth is about 93,000,000 (93 million) miles. o The average distance from the Sun to Pluto is much larger, about 40 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth. o The Sun to the Plutoid Pluto distance is typically referred to as 3.7 BILLION.  To give you a sense for how far this is, imagine you are driving to Pluto on the highway at the speed of 60 miles per hour; it is going take you about 7 thousand years to reach your destination!Instruction Put the objects out on a table and place them in a row. Explain to the class that these objects will be used to create your class model of the solar system. o Remind class about previous lessons in which we learned about the size of the planets and their order. Remind the class about the mnemonics we have learned. Before you leave, distribute the Sun, the planets, and the labeled paper to members of the class. Make sure that each student knows the name of the object he or she is carrying. As this model calls for participation from eleven students, you’ll want to pair up students and assign a planet to more than one child. Take 10 paces. Call out “Mercury, where are you?” and have the Mercury person put down his/her card and pinhead. Take another 9 paces. Ask Venus to put down her peppercorn. At this point you may want to take out the megaphone so everyone can hear you. This is not essential but it may place less strain on your vocal chords. Take another 7 paces. It’s Earth’s turn. o Ask the class if they notice anything amazing so far? Point out that Mercury is so close to the sun but we never see it. It is like a scorched rock and it is lost in space. And as for the distance between Earth and the Sun, can you believe that it warms us so well and we are so far from it?
  3. 3. Take another 14 paces. Mars. Take 95 paces from there to Jupiter. o As you or the Pace Explorer is taking paces, continually ask the class questions such as “Who knows an interesting fact about Jupiter?” What is so amazing about this? Point out that Jupiter is so large that you could fit all the other planets inside it. And in our model it is just a chestnut, more than a city block from its nearest neighbor in space! Another 112 paces. Saturn Another 249 paces. Uranus Another 281 paces. Neptune Another 242 paces. Plutoid, Pluto “What observations they have about the model? o Point out that the sun ball is no longer visible even with binoculars from the pinhead Pluto. The inconceivable size and wonder of space may now start to set in.Extension of Activity Moon An early target for spacecraft and astronauts. It is very unearthlike - no air, no water, no active volcanoes. As such it preserves its ancient geological record much better than Earth. Sun The central mass which holds the Solar System together and provides us with warmth and light. The sun, a fairly average star, produces power by converting hydrogen to helium. It will do so for several billion years more, gradually becoming warmer. Earth Earth is the only planet known to support life. Mars Planet Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun, and is named after the Roman god of war; perhaps for its red coloring. It is intermediate in geological development between Earth and the Moon. It has had water on its surface in the past, though now all water is frozen. Venus Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, but is now known to be very different from Earth. It has no oceans and is surrounded by a heavy atmosphere Mercury Mercury was named by the Romans after the fleet-footed messenger of the gods because it seemed to move more quickly than any other planet Jupiter the largest planet in the Solar System.[9][10] It is the fifth planet from the Sun. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant, because it is so large, and is made up mostly of gas. Saturn The sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System,Evaluation By observing that each person is interacting in the solar system you are able to observe that each child is engaging. By having each child answer questions about the planet they represent the class is able to learn and their comprehension is evaluated.
  4. 4. Follow- Up Activity Ask student pairs to write up fun facts on their planet cards about the planet they represent. Have them share their facts and see who can guess which planet they are. Do the walk once more from the Sun to Pluto and then immediately in reverse, starting with Pluto. This will help reinforce the concept of the scale of the solar system through repetition.Description of lesson plan: Student will learn how to locate the planets in order. They will alsoget an idea of how far apart they are from each other. Another thing will be students will get anidea of a relevant size of each planet. Students will understand why Pluto is not a planet anymore.Description of how geography is used in the lesson plan:Geography is included in this lesson plan because students will learn about The Solar System -the sun and all things bound to it - is our neighborhood in space. Previously the object of onlyastronomical study, it is now accessible to human endeavors, at least in its nearest parts. This is aGeography course, and it would be thought of it in geographical terms: places, resources,hazards, etc. The Solar System would be briefly discussed in astronomical terms. Students willalso get an idea of how each planet got is name. Mnemonic Refresher My = Mercury Very = Venus
  5. 5. Easy = Earth Method = Mars Just= Jupiter Speeds = Saturn Up = Uranus Names = Neptune Mercury1. Mercury is the eighth largest planet (or second smallest) in the Solar System.2. The orbital speed of Mercury is 47.8 km/sec3. Mercury has no atmosphere and no known satellites, perhaps because of its proximity to theSun.4. The diameter of Planet Mercury is 4,878 km5. The only visit to Mercury was a flyby made by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974.6. Mercury, often identified with the Greek god, Hermes, is the messenger of the gods in Romanmythology.7. Mercury orbits the sun once every 87.97 Earth Days8. A day, from sunrise to sunrise, on Mercury is equivalent to 176 Earth Days9. Mercury’s maximum distance from the Sun = 70 million km (43.5 million miles)
  6. 6. 10. Mercury’s minimum distance from Earth = 77 million km (48 million miles)11. Mercury is known as a terrestrial planet consisting of about 70% metallic and 30% silicatematerial.12. Galileo first observed Mercury during the 17th century.13. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Mercury would be 38 lbs. (Multiply your actual weightby 0.38) Venus1. The diameter of Venus is 12,100 km (7,522 miles)2. The interior of Venus is composed of a central iron core and a molten rocky mantle, similar tothe composition of Earth.3. The surface of Venus is very dry with flat plains, highland regions, and depressions.4. Venus is the sixth largest planet in the Solar System5. Venus is the second closest planet to the Sun.6. Planet Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.7. The atmosphere of Venus is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (96%) and nitrogen (3%),with traces of other gases and little to no water vapor.8. Similar in size, density, and mass, Venus and Earth often referred to as sister planets.9. The orbital speed of Venus is 35 km per second.
  7. 7. 10. Maximum distance of Venus from the Sun is 109 million km (68 million miles)11. Minimum distance of Venus from the Earth is 40 million km (25 million miles)12. Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System.13. Venus is one of the brightest objects in the sky, next to the Sun and Moon.14. It takes 243 days for Venus to rotate on its axis.15. The surface of Venus may have been formed by a lot of volcanic activity. It is said to have167 volcanoes that measure up to 100 km across.16. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Venus would be 88 lbs. (multiply your actual weight by0.88) Earth 1. The Earth is around 4.6 billion years old. 2. The Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System. 3. The Earth’s atmosphere is composed mainly of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (.93%), and carbon dioxide (0.03%). 4. Earth’s atmosphere divided in 5 sections from the surface: Troposphere (0-13 km), Ozone Layer (13-25 km), Stratosphere (25-50 km), Mesosphere (50-75 km), and Thermosphere (75-150 km) 5. Earth is the fifth largest planet in the Solar System. 6. The Diameter of the Earth is 12,756 km (7,926 miles) 7. The earth’s orbital speed is 29.8 km per second.
  8. 8. 8. Earth has only one satellite, the Moon. The Moon is the second brightest object in the sky from Earth. 9. Earth has an average surface temperature of 13 degrees C (55.4 degrees F). 10. The greenhouse effect raises Earth’s temperature 35 degrees C (95 degrees F). 11. Earth’s distance from the Sun – Min. 146 million km (91million miles) Max. 152 million km (94.5 million miles). 12. Earth is composed of: iron (32%), oxygen (30%), silicon (15%), magnesium (14%), sulfur (3%), nickel (2%), calcium (1.5%), aluminum (1/4%) and the remainder made up of other elements. Mars1. Known as the Red Planet, Mars is characterized by its red, dusty landscape.2. The atmosphere on Mars is very thin, composed mainly of carbon dioxide (95%), nitrogen(2.7%), and argon (1.6%), with traces of oxygen and water.3. The orbital speed of Mars is 24.2 km per second.4. Temperatures on Mars vary from a maximum of 0 degrees C (32 degrees F) to minimum -100degrees C (-148 degrees F).5. The diameter of the planet Mars is 6,785 km6. A Mars year is equal to 686.98 Earth Days7. A day in Mars is equal to 24.6 Earth Hours8. Mars maximum distance from the Sun = 249 million km (155 million miles)
  9. 9. 9. Mars is 35 million miles from Earth10. Mars is the god of war in Roman mythology (Ares).11. Mars has two small satellites named Phobos and Deimos.12. Asaph Hall discovered both of Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, in August 1877.13. Mariner 4 – first successful flyby mission to Mars. Launched on November 28, 1964 andarrived at Mars on July 14, 1965.14. Mariner 9 – first successful orbit of Mars. Launched May 30, 1971 and began orbitNovember 13, 1971.15. Viking 1 – Successful orbit and landing on surface of Mars. Launched August 20, 1975 andarrived at Mars July 20, 1976.16. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Mars would be 38 lbs. (multiply your actual weight by0.38) Jupiter 1. Jupiter’s equatorial diameter is 142,984 km 2. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is 318 times larger than Earth. 3. The orbital speed of Jupiter is 13.1 km/sec 4. A year on Jupiter is equal to 11.9 Earth Years 5. A day on Jupiter is equal to 9.8 Earth Hours 6. Jupiter, sometimes called Jove, was the King of the gods in Roman mythology and the son of Saturn. 7. Jupiter’s maximum distance from the Sun = 817 million km (508 million miles) 8. Jupiter’s minimum distance from Earth = 588 million km (365 million miles)
  10. 10. 9. Pioneer 10 first spacecraft sent to explore Jupiter in December 1973. Pioneer 10 only did a flyby. 10. Jupiter has sixty three moons or satellites, eight are regular and 55 irregular. 11. Jupiter’s four largest moons are named: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. 12. Voyager 1 provided some of the earliest clear and up close photographs of Jupiter in January of 1979. 13. Jupiter has rings, the third planet discovered to have a ring system in our Solar System. 14. Jupiter’s rings are identified as: Halo ring, Main ring, Amalthea gossamer ring, and Thebe gossamer ring. 15. Jupiter’s rings were discovered by Voyager 1 in 1979. 16. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Jupiter would be 234 lbs. (multiply your actual weight by 2.34) Saturn1. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest.2. Saturn was the god of agriculture in Roman mythology. Saturn is also the father of Jupiter, theking of the Roman gods.3. Saturn is flattened at the poles, due to a fast rotation on its axis.4. Saturn has 62 known moons; fifty-three have been named. Most of them are small in size.5. Names of some of Saturn’s moons: the largest is Titan, discovered in 1655; Tethys, Dione,Rhea, & Iapetus, discovered from 1671 to 1672; Mimas & Enceladus, discovered in 1789; andHyperion, discovered in 1848.
  11. 11. 6. A year on Saturn is equal to 29.5 Earth Years7. Saturn is the only planet in our solar system that is less dense that water.8. A day on Saturn is equal to 10 hours and 14 minutes in Earth days.9. Diameter of Saturn is 119,871 km (74,500 miles)10. Saturn’s maximum distance from the Sun is 1.5 billion km (938 million miles)11. Saturn’s minimum distance from Earth is 1.2 billion km (746 million miles)12. Saturn has fourteen subdivisions of its rings, the widest is at 25,500 km, the B ring.13. Saturn’s rings are made primarily of “water ice” mixed with dust and other chemicals.14. Saturn’s fame has been observed going back to ancient times, the Babylonians, Romans,Greek, Hindus, and many more ancient civilizations have taken great interest in studying thisringed planet.15. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Saturn would be 108 lbs. (multiply your actual weightby 1.08)16. The temperature on Saturn by the clouds is at -274° F. Uranus1. Uranus is named after the Greek god of the sky. Uranus was the husband of Gaia, the goddessof the Earth.2. The orbital speed of Uranus is 6.6 km/sec3. A year on Uranus is equal to 84.01 Earth Years4. Uranus is the third largest planet in the Solar System.5. The atmosphere of Uranus is composed of hydrogen, helium, and methane. The methane inthe atmosphere absorbs red light, giving the planet a blue-green color.
  12. 12. 6. Uranus is considered unusual because the planet is tipped on its side. The poles actually pointtowards the Sun. This is due to the fact that its magnetic field is tilted 60 degrees from the axis ofrotation.7. Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Uranus.8. Like Venus, Uranus spins from east to west, which is opposite from the spin of Earth.9. A day on Uranus is equal to a little more than 17 hours on Earth.10. Uranus maximum distance from the Sun is 3 billion km (1.88) billion miles11. Uranus minimum distance from the Earth is 2.6 billion km (1.6 billion miles)12. Diameter of Uranus is 51,488 km (32,000 miles)13. The 27 moons of Uranus are named after characters created by William Shakespeare andAlexander Pope.14. William Herschel identified Titania and Oberon in 1787, these are the first two moons ofUranus that were discovered.16. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Uranus would be 89 lbs. (multiply your actual weightby 0.89 Neptune1. Neptune is the fourth largest planet in the Solar System.2. Neptune is a gaseous planet, composed of hydrogen, helium, methane, with traces of ammoniaand water.3. Neptune was discovered by Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams, and Johann Galle onSeptember 23, 1846.4. The only spacecraft ever to visit Neptune was Voyager 2 in 1989.5. In Roman mythology, Neptune is the god of the sea.
  13. 13. 6. Neptune has strong winds which is more than any other planet in the Solar System. Winds onNeptune can get up to 2,000 km/hour (1,200 miles/hour). “The Scooter” is a cloud that movesaround Neptune about every 16 hours.7. The blue color of the planet is due to the absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere.8. The orbital speed of Neptune is 5.4 km/second.9. The diameter of Neptune is 49,493 km10. One Neptune day is equal to 16 hours in Earth time.11. One Neptune year is equal to 164.83 Earth Years12. Neptune’s maximum distance from the Sun – 4.5 billion km (2.8 billion miles)13. Neptune’s minimum distance from Earth – 4.3 billion km (2.7 billion miles)14. Neptune has 13 moons, the largest of which is named Triton. The other moons are: Naiad,Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Proteus, Nereid, Halimede, Sao, Laomedeia, Neso, andPsamathe.15. Neptune has five main rings, they are named after the people who had been doing work onthe planet; the rings are: Halle, Le Verrier, Lassell, Arago, and Adams.16. If you weigh 100 lbs, your weight on Neptune would be 113 lbs. (multiply your actual weightby 1.18) Reasons Pluto isn’t a Planet The requirements are: It needs to be in orbit around the sun--Yes, Pluto does orbit the sun It needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape -- Pluto has sufficient gravity to have become spherical. (This is called hydrostatic equilibrium, by the way.) It needs to have "cleared the neighborhood" of its orbit -- Uh oh. Heres the "problem" with Pluto. According to this IAU rule, Pluto is not a planet.
  14. 14. We see the "rule violation" that has arisen, but what does "cleared its neighborhood" mean? Asplanets form, they become the dominant gravitational body in their orbit in the Solar System. As they interact with other, smaller objects along their orbital path, they either consume them or sling them away with their gravity. Pluto is only 0.07 times the mass of the other objects in its orbit. The Earth, in comparison, has 1.7 million times the mass of the other objects in its orbit.Any object that doesnt meet these 3rd criteria is considered a dwarf planet. And that makes Plutois a dwarf planet. There are still many objects with similar size and mass to Pluto jostling around in its orbit. And until Pluto crashes into many of them and gains mass, it will remain a dwarf planet. Eris suffers from the same problem.Its not impossible to imagine a future, though, where astronomers discover a large enough object in the distant Solar System that could qualify for planet-hood status. Then our Solar System would have 9 planets again. Even though Pluto is a dwarf planet, and no longer officially a planet, itll still be a fascinating target for study. And thats why NASA has sent their New Horizons spacecraft off to visit it. New Horizons will reach Pluto in July 2015, and it will capture the first close-up images of the (dwarf) planets surface.Space enthusiasts will marvel at the beauty and remoteness of Pluto, and the painful deplanetingmemories will fade. Well just be able to appreciate it as Pluto, and not worry how to categorize it. At least now you know why Pluto was demoted.Pluto is not considered a planet because it shares its orbit with many other objects, so it fails one of the criteria for a planet established in 2006: 1. The object must orbit a star such as the sun 2. Must be rounded by its own gravity and be in hydrostatic equilibrium 3. Must have cleared its orbital path of other objects