In this space lesson plan children can learn key facts about the eight major planets in our solar system. You can also use our printable Planets fact cards set and access a complete Space Unit for additional lessons and resources.
Free printable planet information cards
In this lesson children can:
:: get an introduction to the planets, solar system and Milky Way galaxy
:: learn about the eight major planets in our solar system, their position from the sun, and key facts about each planet
:: print and use a set of Planets fact cards
:: draw and write about My Favourite Planet using a printable journal page
Download our ready-made Space Unit and printables
Our Play Academy Space Unit gives you a ready-made programme of lessons to learn about planets, stars, our solar system and our galaxy with your children.
In these space-themed lessons plans your children can :
:: learn about the planets in our solar system
:: make planet paintings
:: learn about stars and constellations and go star gazing
:: learn about space exploration and make junk model rockets
:: create an outer space small world to stretch their imagination and consolidate their learning
In this Space Unit you’ll receive these bonus printables:
:: four-part Planet Fact Cards for knowledge learning, re-capping and game playing
:: a My Favourite/Favorite Planet Journal Page with fun prompts to write and draw your favourite
:: Star Alphabet Cards for literacy activities
:: Constellation Cards for knowledge learning, star gazing and game playing
:: Rocket Number Cards for math activities
Where do we live?
Where do you live? You live in a house, on your street. Your street is in or near a town, in a county or state. This is inside a country, part of a continent, on our planet called Earth.
The Earth is part of a solar system. Our solar system has our sun at the centre and all the other objects in our system move, or orbit, around it. The objects include eight major planets – our Earth is one of them – asteroids, comets, and moons.
Our solar system, along with 200 billion other stars, is inside a huge galaxy called the Milky Way.
So that’s your space address: your house, your street, your town, your county/state, your country, your continent, Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way.
When you look up at the sky at night, what can you see? If there aren’t too many clouds in the way, you’ll notice the moon and you can probably see some stars. There are many other things out there too. Some of them we can see using just our eyes and others are so far away we need to use telescopes to see them.
This week we’re going to learn about the planets and stars in our solar system.
There are eight major plants that orbit, or move around, our sun. This Unit includes a set of Planet Cards printables that gives key details about each one.
Mercury is the closet planet to the sun. It’s about as wide as the Atlantic Ocean and is covered in sulphur and sulphuric acid. It’s the fastest moving planet, orbiting at 50km per second / 31 miles per second.
Venus is the second planet from the sun. It’s named after the Roman goddess of beauty. Its surface is covered in yellow clouds and it’s the hottest planet in the Solar System with temperatures up to 460°C / 480°F. You can often see Venus at night as it’s the brightest object in the sky after the moon.
Earth, where we live, is the third planet from the sun. Around 70% of its surface is covered in water and its sometimes referred to as the Blue Planet. It has one natural satellite – an object that orbits it – which is our moon.
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It is very cold and dry on Mars, but there is ice at its north and south poles. Its surface is covered in volcanoes, craters, valleys and huge dust storms. It is sometimes called the Red Planet. Its highest peak is a volcano called Olympus Mons, which is three times higher than Mount Everest. Mars has two moons, called Phobos and Deimos.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is the biggest. It’s called a gas giant and has several moons, including some of the biggest in the solar system. One of its moons is called Europa and its possible life could be sustained there, in the ocean below its frozen, icy surface.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and is another gas giant. It’s made of a small rocky core surrounded by gas. Saturn has over thirty rings around it and a moon, called Titan.
Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and looks blue because of its gasses. Uranus is different to the other planets because it orbits on its side, rolling like a barrel. This means its seasons as completely different to Earth’s. It has 27 moons.
Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun and looks blue, like Uranus, because it’s made of similar gasses. It’s named after the Roman god of the sea although it’s covered in gas not water. It has 14 moons.
How to use the planet fact cards
You can use the printable Planet Cards to recap what you have learned about the planets in our solar system.
Stick the cards in your nature journal: you could keep them in an envelope that’s glued in your journal so you can take the cards in and out.
You could tape the cards together to make a Planets zig-zag book.
Use the cards as flashcards and quiz each other on the key facts: which planet is sixth from the sun? Which one is the smallest? Which one has rings around it?
You can also cut the cards into four sections: the picture, planet name, key fact, and position from the sun. Jumble the cards up and see if you can sort them out again, matching each name, fact and position to the correct picture card.
Line up the cards in order of their position from the sun, to create a model of our solar system.
Download your ready-made Space Unit
Don’t forget to download your copy of the Play Academy’s ready-made Space Unit. With this grab-and-go Space Unit, you’ll be ready to lead a week of learning about space, planets, stars and space travel.
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