Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Solar System Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Solar System, and supports the standard of explaining that the solar system consists of the Sun and a collection of objects that are held in orbit by the Sun’s gravitational pull. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • What planets make up our solar system?
  • Why do you think planets stay in orbit?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Solar System topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Famous Faces” or “In Depth.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about [topic] while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a travelog describing a journey through the solar system from the Sun to Neptune. Describe the planets and smaller bodies you encounter. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Identify the positions of the planets relative to the Sun, and analyze the role gravity plays in their orbits.  (Essential  Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game challenging players to determine whether information describes inner planets, outer planets, dwarf planets, moons, or comets.  (Essential Skill: Acquire and use domain-specific words and phrases)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Solar System Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Solar System Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Sortify: Celestial Bodies: Play a sorting game to deepen understanding of the solar system.

Space Unit: Learn more about  Earth’s place in the universe with these related BrainPOP topics. 

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Comments