- From first to eighth
- Before, after, between, next to
- Important adjectives are: large (big), small, hot, cold
Check my Solar System tag on the right for some fantastic on-line materials.
Naming, pronunciation and ordering of the planets
Look at Tags 1 & 2 in The Solar System topic on the right.
Make a balloon Solar System
To look at ordinal numbers, preposition, size, comparatives & superlatives
You will need: 2 large balloons (punch balls) – Jupiter and Saturn, 4 normal size balloons – Venus, Earth, Uranus, Neptune and 2 small ones (water bomb size) Mercury and Mars. The sun is so big in proportion to the other planets that it may be easier to draw on a piece of ‘continuous’ paper for some children to colour or paint.
Talk about which is bigger, smaller, which is the biggest/smaller, closest/furthest from the sun. Look at the relative sizes table. Talk about their order from the sun – which is the first, second, third, etc. Ask questions like: Which planet is between Earth and Jupiter? Which planet is next to Uranus? etc.
Now give out the balloons to different children telling them which planet they are. They need to work collaboratively, blowing up their balloons and comparing them to each others. Once they have finished, they could stand in order and then orbit the ‘sun’. You could show the children the short 3D animated movie of the Solar Sytem on: http://users.netrover.com/~kingskids/solar/solar.html
You could then make a A Papier Maché Solar System using the balloons.
You can buy an inflatable Solar System from http://www.orientaltrading.com/ It costs $17.99.
Make a Solar System bracelet
Aim: to remember the order and size of the planets
You will need: a piece of thin elastic to go round each child’s wrist. Then find beads in the ‘Euro shop’ in different colours and sizes:
Mercury – a tiny one
Venus – a bigger one
Earth – a bead about the same size or a little smaller than ‘Venus’.
Mars – a small red one about the size or a little larger than ‘Mercury’.
Jupiter – a large bead much bigger than the others
Saturn – a bead slightly smaller than ‘Jupiter’
Uranus – a bead similar size to Saturn
Neptune – a bead about the same size or a little smaller than ‘Uranus’.
Solar System Rhyme to go with the bracelet
Here are eight planets that we know.
Round and round the Sun they go.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars,
And the rest? Here they are.
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, too.
Neptune, which is blue.
These are the eight planets that we know.
Round and round the Sun they go.
adapted from one on: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems34.html
Information on the cards
The children read the information cards in pairs. First look at the superlatives and comparatives and the ordinal numbers, to help the children understand the information.
Then you could make the activity more visual and kinesthetic by asking the children to try to get in the order of the planets.
After reading about the planets, the children could also write Planet postcards. They choose a planet and write a postcard to tell their family or friends about what it looks like, the weather, etc. On the other side of the postcard they draw a picture of the planet. They work on the skills of letter writing and addressing letters in English. Remind the children that they are writing from space so as well as their home address + country, they must also put Earth. See the template attached for the children to fill in. Planet postcard
I have also attached this Meaningful copying worksheet. When learning how to write a new word we often need to see/read the word many times. Copying gets a lot of ‘bad press’ but it can be a good way of practising, however, I prefer something I call Meaningful copying which implies that the children need to think about what they are copying as they do it. In this case they copy the planets in the order they are from the sun, how big they are and how hot they are.
The children don’t find this kind of copying tedious as they are copying for a reason.