Meet the Planets Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn there are eight planets in Earth's solar system.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The solar system is the group of planets, moons, and space debris orbiting around our Sun. It is held together by the gravitational pull of the Sun, which is nearly MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Earth—Home Sweet Home" is a good one? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Invite students to share their ideas about whether they think life exists on any other planets. Remind them that scientists continue to discover an average of about 25 "new" planets each year outside of our own solar system.
  2. Write about it: Ask students to write a paragraph about Earth that would describe the planet to someone who had never been here.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on astronomy.


Meet the Planets Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to planets by using each defined word in a sentence.



How to Tell a Star from a Planet
Grade: 5 - 8
This activity explains how you can tell the difference between a star and a planet when you are observing the night sky.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Astronomy

This book provides an in-depth, comprehensive look at astronomy with a unique integration of words and pictures.

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