SCM 2015
Our Solar System

Lesson 1: Introducing our Solar System


In this lesson, students will be introduced to our Solar System. They will explore what it contains and use common items to create a scaled version of it.

Broad learning outcomes

  • Students will begin to develop a vocabulary to discuss the Solar System and learn to judge information for accuracy and validity.

  • Students will be able to provide a brief explanation of what the Solar System is, and what it contains, with a specific focus on the importance of the sun.

  • Students will learn the order and relative size of the planets in our Solar System by participating in the creation of a scaled model.


  • "Solar System mind map" activity sheet

  • "Our Solar System − what do I know?" activity sheet.

  • "Create your own Solar System instructions" sheet. This sheet contains a list of resources you will need for the activity.

  • Books and internet resources about the Solar System

Assessment options

  • Contributions to class discussions

  • "Our Solar System − what do I know" activity sheet

  • Participation in creating the Solar System

Lesson steps

Write the word "Solar System" on the board, or have a copy of the "Solar System mind map" displayed on an interactive whiteboard. Ask students what they already know about the Solar System and record their answers. Use the following guiding/prompting questions if necessary:

  • How old is our Solar System?

  • What is contained within our Solar System?

  • Is our Solar System part of a bigger system? Do students know what that system is called?

  • What is at the centre of our Solar System?

  • What words come to students' minds when they think about the Solar System?

This activity can also be done individually or in small groups using a copy of the "Solar System mind map" activity sheet.

To learn some basic information about our Solar System, have students research to complete the "Our Solar System − what do I know?" activity sheet.

Take students outside and follow the instructions on the "How big is our Solar System" sheet to make a scale model of our Solar System. You will need a fairly large area (school oval) to complete this activity. You can also find indoor options on the sheet.