Solar System Lesson Plan: Making Mobiles

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-5, students use BrainPOP Jr. and/or BrainPOP resources to learn which planets are part of the inner solar system and which are part of the outer solar system. Students also explore the definition of a planet and the role of the Sun in our solar system.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify which planets are part of the inner solar system and which are part of the outer solar system
  2. Define a planet
  3. Explain the role of the Sun in our solar system

Materials:

  • For each child: one hanger and 8 short pieces of string
  • Internet and projector to show BrainPOP Jr.
  • Printed photocopies of Annie's Notebook, Talk About It feature, and Activity feature
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher

Vocabulary:

solar system; inner solar system; outer solar system; Sun; star

Preparation:

This lesson can be used to teach K-3 students about the solar system and serve as an introductory/review lesson for students in grades 4-5.

Print Annie's notebook questions (from the movie topic page) and the Talk About It activity. Make two-sided copies for the class so that the notebook questions are on the front and the Talk About It is on the back. Also photocopy a class set of the Activity and prepare the string and hangers for student mobiles.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Older students may view the BrainPOP Solar System Movie and explore the FYI and activity features.
  2. During centers or independent work time, allow students to create solar system mobiles using the Activity.
  3. Have students flip their papers over and complete the Talk About It activity with a partner.
  4. Play the Solar System movie all the way through one time. Then play the movie a second time, pausing at each notebook question to discuss with students. Give students a chance to record new understandings and revise initial ones.
  5. Pass out the copies of Annie's notebook questions. Facilitate a class discuss around the questions or allow pairs of students several minutes to discuss their prior knowledge. Students may wish to write down what they think they know so far.
  6. Show the Word Wall to students and go over basic vocabulary.

Extension Activity:

Allow students to complete either the Easy Quiz or the Hard Quiz for assessment.