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Lesson Plan

The Solar System - A Review by ECSDM

Course, Subject

Earth Science, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


This lesson was formulated for use with a multi-age middle school special education science class. Students are of varied abilities functioning from a kindergarten to a third grade level. This lesson was designed as a review for the students and to allow the teacher to see the level of understanding of the basic concepts of the solar system. More detailed lessons will follow explaining characteristics of each of the classical planets.


This lesson requires one 45-minute class to complete.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • be able to identify the eight classical planets of the solar system
  • explain that the sun is the center of the solar system
  • identify the order of the planets from the planet that is closest to the sun to the furthest from the sun
  • be able to complete the chart/graphic organizer on the order of the planets from the sun


  • SMART Board
  • SMART Notebook Software
  • Internet Access
  • Writing Utensil
  • Teacher-made chart/graphic organizer
  • Teacher-made SMART Notebook file

Step-by-Step Procedure

Teacher will display the Diagram of the Solar System on the SMART Board. Students will view the planets in the order that they can be found from the sun. Teacher will then explain that the sun is the center of the solar system and that all of the 8 classical planets orbit around the sun in the order illustrated. The teacher will then show the same diagram on the SMART Board, only this time the planets will be scrambled. Students will take turns coming up to the SMART Board to put the planets in order from the closest to the farthest from the sun. Upon completion of the activity, students will work cooperatively with a partner or independently to complete the follow-up activity chart/graphic organizer. Students will also be given some additional questions on the chart to check for understanding of important concepts.


Students will complete the attached chart/ graphic organizer to illustrate their understanding of the order of the planets from the sun in our solar system. Lessons will follow to build upon these concepts with the students and explain, in detail, the characteristics of each of the classical planets.


This instructional content can be used with SMART Board. The .xbk file can be used with the SMART Notebook software. If you do not have access to the SMART Board, you may view the Solar System Diagram in .pdf format.

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