Lesson Title: Astronomy (2 of 4): Our Solar System
Academic Standards: HS-ESS1-1; HS-ESS1-4, HS-ESS1-6
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 35-45 min
  /  Astronomy (2 of 4): Our Solar System


  • Understand the formation of our galaxy.
  • Understand the formation of our solar system.
  • Identify the components of our solar system.
  • Understand the difference between the outer gas giant planets and the inner rocky planets.
  • Describe the characteristics of each planet.
  • Understand how each planet go its name.


Our solar system is located on an outer spiral of the Milky Way. It includes 1 star, 8 planets, moons, dwarf planets and millions of asteroids, comets and meteorites. In this lesson, students will learn the origins of both our galaxy and our solar system. Students will identify the components of our solar system and in a hands on activity, put the planets in the correct order. Students will learn the unique characteristics of each planet and be able to distinguish between the inner, rocky planets and the outer gas giants. This lesson includes trip to Mars.


  1. Start in the Starship and watch the multimedia presentation on the planets.
  2. Exit the ship and have the students identify each planet and put them in the correct order.
  3. Discuss the definition of a planet.
  4. Move to Mars.
  5. Watch video on our solar system origins.
  6. Discuss the video and include origin of the galaxy.
  7. Do Assessment activity described in ancillary section.

Demonstratives & Media

Suggested Ancillary Support

1. Formation of Planets video: 2. Multimedia presentation about the planets is under Content. 3. For the assessment activity, I had the 8 planets in groups of 4 (inner planets and outer planets). I had created 2 sticky notes for each planet, with a fact about the planet. They were mixed up and the students would take them and move them in front of the planet.  Good way to assess what they learned during the discussions.