Natural Satellites in Solar System

Lesson Plan of Natural Satellites in Solar System

General Science Grade V

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Compare the sizes of Earth, Sun and Moon.
·         Investigate the Moons of different planets of the solar system.
·         Identify different phases of Moon.          Information for Teachers


·         Earth is our planet. It is the part of solar system and is natural satellite of the Sun.
·         Earth has one Moon which is the only heavenly body close to Earth.
·         Earth completes one revolution around the Sun In one year.
·         Its spin rotation (about its own axis) is completed in 24 hours which results in the appearance of day and night.
·         Diameter of the Earth is the about 12800km.


·         Sun is the only star of our solar system. It lies at the center of the solar system.
·         Sun has eight natural satellites called planets.
·         Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are planets of the Sun.
·         The Sun is 108 times bigger than the earth.


·         Planets are the objects which revolve around the Sun. the objects which revolve around a planet are called its moons. The earth has one moon only.
·         The Moon is the nearest neighbor of Earth.
·         Its diameter is 3500 km and is about four times smaller than the Earth.
·         It completes its one revolution round the Earth in 29 ½ days. The pattern of the Moon’s changes are called the phases of the Moon.
·         Mercury and Venus have no moon whereas other planets have their moons.

Material / Resources

A big chart of solar system, chart of pictures of Earth and Moon, textbook

Worm up Activity

·         Ask the students: What are the shapes of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon?
(Expected response: Like spherical balls)
·         Display the labeled chart of the solar system and ask the students to observe it carefully.
·         Then ask the students: Which object is the biggest in our solar system?
(Expected response: The Sun) inform them that in the night sky, Moon looks bigger than the stars. Ask: is it really so? (Expected response: No)
·         Conclude that the Moon is much smaller than the stars. It looks bigger because it is nearer to the Earth.
·         Tell them that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Ask: does the Sun revolve around the Earth?
(Expected response: No, actually Earth revolves around the Sun).
·         Inform them that the Moon is also seen moving in the night sky. Ask: Does it revolve around the Earth? (Expected response: Yes).
·          Explain that the Sun is bigger than the Earth and the Earth is bigger than Moon. The Moon revolves around the Earth and Earth along with its moon revolves around the Sun.


Activity 1

·         Display the chart of images of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon in relative sizes.
·         Divide the class into three groups i.e. A,B and C
·         Provide each group a sheet of cardboard and a pair of scissors.
·         Direct the group A to cut a round piece out of the sheet to represent the Earth.
·         Now ask group B and C to cut the round pieces of card in relative sizes to represent the Sun and the Moon.
·         Now provide a roll of scotch tape and ask the students to paste their cuttings on the board.
·         Ask them What have they observed from this activity
(Expected response: The Sun is much larger than the Earth and the Earth is much larger than the Moon)

Activity 2

·         Make the following table on the board or write all the information on the chart paper and display it in the classroom.

                               Moons of Various planets
 No. of Moons
Largest Moon
·         Ask various questions from the students;
—-Which planets has the largest number of moons?
      (Expected response: The planet Jupiter has the largest number of moons)
—-Which planet has only one moon?
      (Expected response: The planet Earth has only one moon)
—-What is the name of the moon of the Earth?
      (Expected response:  it is called Luna)
 —-Name the planets which have no moon?
      (Expected response: Mercury and Venus)
·         Inform them that the outer planets are bigger and have larger gravity. The Sun’s gravity has less influence in their vicinity. It is the reason that outer planets have larger number of moons.

Activity 3

·         Give an introduction of the phases of moon by questioning to the students.
·         Make the following chart of the phases of moon on board and explain the shapes of moon that appear during the revolution of moon around the Earth. Sum up / Conclusion
·         The earth, the sun and the Moon are not of the same size.
·         The Sun is bigger than all of its planets. It is 108 times bigger than the Earth.
·         The earth is 4 times bigger than the Moon.
·         The Earth has one moon and the Jupiter has 63 moons. There are total 168 moons in our solar system.


·         Ask the students: How far do you think your home is your school? ( probably, students would try to make an estimate in kilometers because they have covered this concept in Maths)
·         Ask various questions:
—-How far do you think the Sun / Moon is from the earth?
—- Which is near; the Sun or the stars?
—-Which do you think is bigger; the Sun or the stars?
·         Write the various student responses on the board.
·         Now inform students that our Sun is also a star. Stars are heavenly bodies that give out their own light. They are made of burning gases and give off heat and light.
·         Then ask: If the Sun is a star then why do all stars look so small and the Sun so big? Is it the biggest star?
·         Elicit from the students that the stars appear small because they are far away from the Earth and the Sun looks so big because it is the nearest star to the Earth.
·         Ask the students: what is the cause of the different phases of moon?

Follow up

·         Ask the students:
     —How many times the Sun is bigger than the Earth?
     —How many times the Earth is bigger than the moon?
·         Ask the students to make a chart showing the different phases of the moon.
·         Ask them to make a table for the number of moons of each planet of solar system.
·         Help the students to develop charts showing the relationship among the Sun, the earth and the moon.

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