Lesson Planning of Solar System


Lesson Planning of Solar System

Subject General Science

Grade 5th

Students` Learning Outcomes

  • After studying this lesson, students will be able to:
    1. Describe the solar system and its planetary arrangement showing the position of the earth in our solar system.
    2. Explain the relative size of the planets and their distance from the sun using a model.

Science Process Skills

Observing, Measuring / Using Numbers, communicating, inferring, predicting, classifying, making and using models

  • Link with previous knowledge:
  1. The students have learned the following concepts in the previous class:
  2. We live on a heavenly body called the earth.
  3. The shape of the earth is spherical.
  4. The earth spins about its vertical axis which results in day and night.
  5. The earth also moves around the sun known as its orbital motion.

Information for Teachers

  • We know that the earth is a planet and the sun is a star. We also know that the earth goes around the sun. The path of the earth around the sun is called its orbit. Earth is not the only planet orbiting the sun. in fact, there are eight planets including the earth revolving around the sun in almost the same plane but in different oval shaped orbits.

Solar System

  • The sun, planets and their moons make up our solar system. As you read this sentence, you are travelling at a speed of 30 kilometers per second around the sun in the vastness of space.


  • We can see the planets in the night sky. Unlike the stars, planets don`t give off their own light but reflect the light of the sun.
  • A few years ago, nine planets were considered to constitute the solar system. The so called ninth planet “Pluto” is no longer considered as a planet as it does not fit the definition of planet.
  • The planets are:



1.      Mercury

2.      Venus

3.      Earth

4.      Mars

5.      Jupiter

6.      Saturn

7.      Uranus

8.      Neptune

  • Solar system
  • The planets orbiting the sun;


Material / Resources

Writing board, chalk / marker, duster, models of solar system, unlabeled solar system chart, strips with names of planets, if a chart is not available, the children can do a group activity and make such a chart, textbook


  • Ask:

Ø  Why do stars shine?


Ø  What is the difference between the sun and the planet?

Ø  Is our earth a star or a planet? Why?


Ø  How are day and night made?


  • How, if the earth is a planet and it goes around the sun, how do you think the other planets move?



  • Elicit that the other planets also move around the sun just like the earth. Show them a picture / chart of the solar system and ask them to count the planets.
  • How many planets are there? Are they all of the same size?
  • Now tell them that the 8 planets along with their moons and the sun make the solar system. Our earth is a part of the solar system.


Activity 1


  • The chart below shows the relative and size of each planet to the sun. Divide the class into groups and show each group the chart of the solar system. Ask them to discuss the information given in the chart and write the answers to the following questions.


Relative size

Distance from Sun / millions of km

Diameter (km)









































a.       What is the name of our planet?

b.      Which is the largest planet?

c.       Which is the nearest planet to the sun?

d.      Which is the nearest planet to the earth?

e.       Which is the last planet of the solar system?

f.       Write down the planet in order of size starting from the largest planet.

  • At the end of the activity students share their responses with each other and write them on the board.

                                             Activity 2

  • Method:
  • 1.       Fix the unlabeled chart of the solar system.


2.       Ask students to write down the names of planets on strips of paper.

3.       Students identify the planet and paste one strip each labeling the planets on the chart.

                                             Activity 3

Model of Solar system showing relative sizes of the planets:

Material required: Round objects of different sizes, such as a pea, playing marbles, walnuts, a football, grape fruit, an orange or a tennis ball 


  • Method:
  • Ask the students to bring round objects of different sizes as mentioned above. The relative sizes of the planets can be estimated from the chart of the solar system. We can use a pea to represent mercury, a small walnut for Venus and a larger one for Earth, a playing marble for Mars, a basketball for Jupiter, a football for Saturn, a grape fruit for Neptune. Students can arrange these objects on a table or the floor representing the relative sizes of the planets.

Activity 4

  • Model of the solar system showing relative distances of planets from the sun.;
  • Material Required:  a long string, the objects used in the previous activity or eight pieces of card board or paper clips.
  • Method:

1.      Stretch the string across the class room in front of the board.


2.      Write the name o the planet on each piece of card and clip the planets on to the string at following distances from one end. Mercury 2 cm, Venus 4 cm, Earth 6 cm, Mars 8 cm, Jupiter 40 cm, Saturn 70 cm, Uranus 140 cm, and Neptune 220 cm showing relative distances of the planets from the sun.

3.      An orbit can be drawn on the board behind the suspended planet to show its path around the sun.

Activity 5

  • Divide the class into groups of five each. Display a poster of the solar system.

§  Each group brainstorms a list of facts they have learnt about the solar system.

§  Ask each group to study the display and prepare a presentation about what they know of the solar system.

§  Ask each group to present.

§  Discuss each group`s presentations.


1.       What is the Solar System?

2.       What is at the center of the solar system?

3.       How many planets are there in the solar system?

4.       Give the correct caption for each statement.

a)      The largest planet ____________

b)      It is made up of 8 planets and the sun___________

c)       This is a path traveled by a planet around the sun _________

d)      This is the nearest planet to the sun _________________

e)      This is the nearest planet from earth __________________

f)       The smallest planet _____________________

5.       Complete the following statements with suitable keywords;

a)      All the planets including earth go around the sun. We say they _______ the sun.

b)      The sun and all planets make up the _____________________

6.       What shape is the orbit of the earth around the sun?

7.       Why “Mars” is the most likely place, other than earth, to find evidence of life in the solar system.

Follow up





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