To Scale: The Solar System

This To Scale: The Solar System video also includes:

To scale, or not to scale ... that is the question! Show scholars the solar system in correct proportion with a lesson from PBS's Space series for middle school. Two versions of the model-building exercise illustrate the planning process as well as an up-close look at the finished product.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Extend the lesson by grouping learners and asking them to scale the model down to classroom size
  • Assign the background reading for homework to leave more time for discussion and calculations in class
Classroom Considerations
  • Preface the lesson with a look at astronomical units to help the class understand that these units are the basis for actual solar system measurements
  • Students need computers with Internet access to research other solar system models
  • Both videos are perfect resources for helping pupils wrap their heads around the vastness of our solar system
  • The teacher's guide contains printables, background reading, and activities for nailing the lesson's standards
  • None
Common Core