Friday, June 20, 2014

BB Part 4 - Solar System Posters

Hello, hello, and welcome to part 4 of my 10 part series, Blog Backlog: Playing Catch Up! I'm really enjoying getting to share some blog worthy things from the last month or two of school. Today I'm sharing a simple, yet easy, meaningful, and fun science activity.

My favorite science topic in 5th grade is SPACE! Here I am modeling wearing my planets t-shirt that I bought just for teaching this subject!

I was super lucky to be placed with an amazing intern this semester - she's going to be an awesome teacher soon - and she took the class outside to play with toilet paper. Well, actually, there was a scientific purpose. She had groups of students roll out the toiler paper and place a cut-out of each planet at their scaled distance from the sun. It really helped the kids get an idea how far the planets are from each other. 

Unfortunately, with all of the things that happen in our final quarter, sometimes there just isn't enough time to do as many in-depth activities in science that I would like. I needed a quick and meaningful way for my kiddos to get to know our Solar System. So, I came up with these simple Solar System Posters.

I had the students take a sheet of 17" x 22" copy paper and fold it in half lengthwise (hot dog style!) They opened it up and cut along the crease to create two long pieces of paper. They then glued these together with about an inch or two of overlap to make an even longer paper.

Next, we folded this to create 12 sections... so we folded it in half, then in thirds, then in half again. Then students labeled each section...
* Sun
* Mercury
* Venus
* Earth
* Mars
* Asteroid Belt
* Jupiter
* Saturn
* Uranus
* Neptune
* Pluto
* Our Solar System

Students used their science books to research each section of the solar system. As you can tell, the focus wasn't on just the planets, we included the sun, asteroid belt, and our dwarf planet friend Pluto! In each of the sections the students wrote at least three important facts about that part of the solar system and included a colored illustration. I absolutely loved their illustrations and they looked great hanging on the wall in our room.

I find that some of the best and most meaningful activities are projects where students get to complete their own research and use their own creativity. I hope you enjoyed part 4 of my 10 part series, part 5 will be up soon!


  1. I have never taught science before, but I'm pretty sure that I will have to next year, and I think that this is one of the units. First pin on my new science board ;)

  2. Congrats on your new job Diane, change is always exciting! Here are some of my other space posts:

  3. What a brilliant way to show the students' learning! Thank you!


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