- Draw a circle on the board and ask What’s this? Elicit ideas from the children, eg circle, wheel, ring, doughnut, biscuit, clock. Draw another circle and elicit more ideas. Make one of the circles a sun by drawing some light rays. ElicitThe Sun! Ask: So what’s the other circle? Draw a continent in the circle. The Earth!
- Write Star and Planet on the board. Ask the children Which one is a star, the Sun or the Earth? The Sun is a star and the Earth is a planet. Write the Sunnext to Star and the Earth next to Planet.
- Elicit more planets from the children in L1 or L2 (the eight main planets in our Solar System are Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto was considered the ninth planet until 2006, when the International Astronomical Union changed the definition of ‘planet’. Pluto is now officially a ‘dwarf planet’. Encourage the children to talk about the planets. Try to elicit Solar System from the children by asking them The Sun and the planets make … ? (pause) … our Solar System!
Completing The Solar System: The Sun and the planets Worksheet
- Get some of the children to draw the Sun and the planets on the board, starting with the planets nearest the Sun.
- Elicit the names of the planets and write them up on the board in order under the pictures of the planets. Go through the names with the class and ask the children to repeat after you.
- Erase the last letter of each planet and ask the children to call out their names as you point to them. Then erase one more letter and get them to name the planets again. Continue erasing letters until you only have the first letter of each planet, The Sun, M, V, E, M, J, S, U, N. Elicit the names. Erase everything. Can they still remember the names of the eight planets?
- Children write the names of the planets in Activity 1.
Answers: 1-Mercury; 2-Venus; 3-Earth; 4-Mars; 5-Jupiter; 6-Saturn; 7-Uranus; 8-Neptune
- Write big, small, ring, moon and hot on the board and explain their meaning with pictures, mime or examples. Read and explain the first question in Activity 2 with the class. Ask the children to circle one answer. If they don’t know, they should guess. Follow the same procedure with the other questions. Don’t give them the answers yet. Tell them that they should only circle each planet once.
- Ask the children to read the information in Activity 3. Then they use this information to write the correct answers in the Write the answer column in Activity 2. Let the children compare their answers in L1 or L2 before you check them with the class.
- Get feedback from the class. How many answers did they circle correctly?
Answers: a-Mercury; b-Jupiter; c-Venus; d-Mars; e-Uranus; f-Saturn; g-the Earth; h-Neptune