The Planets of the Solar System

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Launch a lesson that's sure to capture middle schoolers' interest! Exploration enthusiasts examine the planets of our solar system using an activity from PBS's Space series. The resource includes images and information for each planet, plus problems that illustrate the use of scale factors in determining the sizes of heavenly bodies.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Create a diagram on the board of the class's prior knowledge, then use it to discuss what they learned when the lesson is complete
  • Put participants into small groups for support as they work through the scale problems
Classroom Considerations
  • Make color copies of each photo for pupils to use as a reference during class work
  • Brilliant images capture students' attention
  • Helpful support materials make planning worry-free
  • None
Common Core