The Solar System is a fascinating place and students find it an engaging and interesting topic to explore.
Here you will find a five-lesson unit of work investigating our Solar System. Students will consider the bodies that make up the Solar System as well as the role of space exploration with a focus on Australia's involvement. The lessons are aimed at students in years 3 to 7 (with particular relevance for students in years 5 and 7), but are flexible enough to be adapted for other year levels.
Each lesson has a brief introduction, broad learning outcomes, a list of required resources, suggested assessment options and activity sheets (presented as PDFs and IWB files as appropriate).
In the Cross-curricular lesson ideas and activities section there are more ideas to support the learning in this unit.
The five lessons are designed to be taught sequentially, but each lesson has a distinct focus:
• Lesson 1: Introducing our Solar System − Students will explore what our Solar System contains and use common items to create a scaled version of it.
• Lesson 2: The planets − let's find out more − Students will begin to focus on specific planets within our Solar System and research to find out more about it.
• Lesson 3: The planets − how do they compare? − Students will work in groups to compare and contrast planets using various criteria.
• Lesson 4: What else is out there? − Students will explore the other objects (other than planets) that make up our Solar System and research to find out more about them.
• Lesson 5: Space exploration and Australia's involvement − Students will contribute to the creation of a space exploration timeline and consider the important role Australia has played in the events.
Links to the Australian Curriculum
A table has been compiled that outlines the curriculum links for this unit. Links have been provided for years 3 to 7 in the learning areas of Science, Mathematics and English.