BEYOND THE CLOUDS:
Naming and Ordering the Planets
Description of Activities
These activities are designed for a first grade classroom and
feature ideas for students to learn about the planets.
Students will put on their
space helmets which they have previously made from a paper bag. They will
take their space travel kit which includes space food (available from
educational and scientific supply stores), a paper digital watch, and whatever
else they decided to pack.
2. SET THE MOOD
Students will sing "Gonna
Take a Rocket Ride" from the cassette, Journey Into Space.
Students will count down from
10 and shout "Blast Off!"
4. INTRODUCTION TO THE PLANETS:
- The students and teacher will
gather at the Story Center, an area of the room set aside for the teacher
reading of books. The teacher will read The Sun's Family of Planets (Fowler,
Allan. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992). Students will become
familiar with the planets, their names, appearances, and order in relation to
- Students will view and work a
hands-on model of the solar system which demonstrates that the planets move
around the earth.
5. COMPUTER LINK-UP:
Given a worksheet, students will visit
websites to answer the questions. Students will:
count the planets
name the planets
describe what planets do by manipulating
a 3-D model of the solar system
name the inner and outer planets
order the planets in their proper
positions in relation to the sun
draw a picture of each planet
answer riddles which teach one fact about
play games which reinforce planetary
order, facts about planets
apply knowledge by drawing one picture of
their favorite planet, labeling it, and writing two facts about it.
- Students will label and color
large models of the planets and the sun. Students will arrange the planets
in orbits around the sun. For copies of the planets, see
- Students will act out
revolutions of the planets. On large butcher block paper, draw the sun and
9 orbit. In a paper bag, place planet cut-outs with their names on
them. Each student will choose one cut-out of the planet from a paper bag
and will stand with that planet on the appropriate orbit. When nine
students are in place, students should walk around the sun on the appropriate
orbit. Students can take turns being the sun.
- Students can read Rookie
Reader story, The Sun's Family of Planets (Fowler, Allen.
Chicago: Children's Press, 1992) for themselves. In the Chicago
area, additional copies can be easily obtained and borrowed from the Rochelle
Lee Lending Library at 5051 North Clark Street. The story can be put on
the listening center for those children who cannot read.
- Students can learn a new song
about the planets, called "The Nine Planets" from the cassette tape, Journey
- Students can learn an easy way to remember the planets. Students can
memorize the sentence, "Make very easy mash. Just squash up new
potatoes." The first letter of each word stands for a planet and
its particular position in relation to the sun.
(Click on Computer
Component to see the Internet Links.)