Our Solar System

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky                                                                  

Subject: Science

Lesson Title: Our Solar System

Grade: Third


  • Kids Discover, Planets magazine
  • Scholastic, Planets magazine
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils

Pre-assessment of Students Knowledge & Skills: (A) Students have been immersed in a unit on earth and space science through direct experience, including and understanding of the characteristics of objects.

Content-Specific Standard(s):


Standard 2: Classification of celestial object: stars, sun, planets, comets, moon and asteroids.

English Language Arts

Key Idea: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Gather and use information for research purposes; demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.

RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.


Students will recognize and understand the order of the planets in our solar system.
Students will learn a few key characteristics of each planet.



“Students, we have learned so much about our earth. We have studied the ground, soil, plants, animals and the sky. Now we are going to travel far away into space.”

“What do you think we will find in space?”

“Can anyone tell me what planets are in our solar system?”

“Today we will be learning what all of the planets are and what kinds of things are unique to each one.”

Direct Teaching: Teacher will chart each planet with the students by showing them pictures and discussing their characteristics using probing questions. Teacher will start with the planet closest to the sun and work the way out. The order of the planets starting with the one closest to the sun is Mercury. Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter. Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  Teacher will talk about the different characteristics and compare and contrast some of the planets.

Group Work: Students will get into groups of about three or four. They will be given two index cards for each group with a characteristic of a planet on each card. Using their resources, (books, magazines), students will have to try and figure out which characteristic goes with what planet.

Closure 10 min: Students will share their planet and characteristics with the class, charting each planet and its many characteristics until it is filled up.

Assessment: Students will be assessed by their ability to complete their investigation report.

Teacher will assess understanding during conference time and during the share. Ask follow up questions if students are not confident with their explanations. Students will be assessed for their activity participation, their participation as audience members and their working material. Student project work will be reviewed against the rubric below.

Diversity: This lesson continues the work of opening a window into different modalities of learning such as Collaborative and Flexible grouping, scaffolding, varied time allowance, multiple intelligences, varied demonstrations, simulations, use of visuals and role play.


“A hands-on activity supports students who struggle with verbal skills” (Cornett, 2011). Using visual and tactile skills, students that struggle with writing are able to use the images to show that they understand the content. This lesson also supports concreteness of the topic with the use of pictures, labels and names.

Students will write a letter to a friend about their favorite planet. They will tell the
other person what life is like on their planet and how they live. What do they live in, what type of job do they have, what do they eat, etc?


Tune: The Bear Song: Planets in the Solar System
Close to the sun (echo)
Is Mercury, (echo)
There is no fun(echo)
But it’s rocky (echo)
Close to sun is mercury, there is no fun but it’s rocky (all together)

The Evening Star, (echo),
Is what they call…
The planet Venus…
Even in the Fall…
The Evening Star is what they call
The planet Venus even in the fall.

The earth is made…
Of rock and gas…
It only has…
Life on it…
The earth is made of rock and gas
It only has life on it.
The planet Mars…
It has two moons…
It’s most like earth…
But with no loons…

The planet Mars it has two moons
It’s most like earth but with no loons.
A Great Red Spot…
Is what it’s got…
It is the largest…
.And called Jupiter…

A Great Red Spot is what it’s got
It is the largest and called Jupiter.
The planet Saturn…
Has lots of rings…
The second largest…
But with no wings…

The planet Saturn has lots of rings
The second largest but with no wings.
Tipped on its side… And made of gas… Uranus is green……
And a bluish mass…

Tipped on its side and made of gas
Uranus is green and a bluish mass.
This planet has…
An icy moon…
You can’t see Neptune…
Not even at noon …

This planet has an icy moon
You can’t see Neptune not even at noon.
Someone uncovered…
This tiny planet…
It was discovered…
And named Pluto…

Someone uncovered
this tiny planet
It was discovered
and named Pluto.


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