Earth and Space Science

3rd grade Solar System

Hello, I am currently in a third-grade math and science classroom completing my student teaching. We are coming up on our unit on the Solar System, so I am looking for some lesson ideas that would be fun and hands on for the students, other than just building a model of the solar system. Thank you so much for any advice and input!

Christine Gadbois
Christine Gadbois
570 Activity Points

Hello, One lesson you could do with the students is use a flashlight as the sun and a foam ball as the moon and have groups of 3 students see the different moon phases. The students seemed really engaged the whole time during this lesson.

Gladys Gonzalez
Gladys Gonzalez
520 Activity Points

Hi Christine. There is a NASA program out of the JPL called "Solar System Ambassadors" which has a lot of resources for teachers including speakers. This would be a great place to start. Best of luck! https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/solar-system-ambassadors/about-the-program/

:) jj

James Johnson
James Johnson
94868 Activity Points

Hi Christine,
[color=#444444][font="Open Sans", verdana, arial, sans-serif][size=4]I would highly recommend that you view this web seminar on NGSS and space science. Rather than looking at an inventory of what is in the solar system the new standards look at the how and why of Earth’s Place in the Universe.
[/size]“The presenter was Julia Plummer from Penn State University. This was the fifth web seminar in a series focused on the disciplinary core ideas that are part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The program featured strategies for teaching about Earth science concepts that answer questions such as "What goes on in stars?" and "What patterns are caused by Earth's movements in the solar system?"[/font][/color]
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NGSS/webseminar31.aspx

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
42070 Activity Points

Hey Christine, I recently taught a lesson based on the solar system just last week. In my opinion, it is really good to focus on one aspect and not the whole thing; what I mean is, for one day, I focused on teaching my students the order of the planets in the solar system in relation to the sun. Trust me, it is more than enough. I also used the 5E Model to teach it. I had my students close their eyes and picture themselves flying in space, however they chose to. This is the engagement, then we shared as a class. Afterwards for the exploration, I had my students mess around with different sized balls and had them think what the purpose was for those ball. Then, I passed around descriptors for those balls for them to place in order. They were easy descriptors of the sun and the 8 planets, up to you if you want Pluto be a part of it. Then we shared as a class why the students put the balls in a certain order, done as a group of 4-5 students. Afterwards, I had them explain their findings and added some more to it by showing a PPT of the planets and made some connections that they could understand. They also filled out a 2 page flip book that they could glue in their activity journal, that told them the order of the planets. I then passed around black posters to groups, construction paper, and other supplies, so they can as a group, create their own solar system. Afterwards, to end, I passed around an exit ticket for each student to do individually and tell me the order of the planets. Check teacherspayteachers website for great resources on planets. They also have freebies, so you do not have to pay. Good Luck!

Hussein Pacha
Hussein Pacha
675 Activity Points

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