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Here is an integrated thematic Solar System Research Lesson Plan


Language Arts, Math, Science  




Title – Solar System Research Lesson Plan
By – Carol Kussart
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts, Math
Grade Level – 3

Major objectives:

  1. Students will learn researching skills to locate information via the Internet and hard copy resources.
  2. Students will learn in-depth about an object in the Solar System.

Time Required: This will be expected to take about 2 weeks of science and English time.

Illinois Learning Standards: Goals 1A,C; 3A,B,C; 4B; 5A,B; 6; 12F


  1. Reference books in the classroom and school library
  2. Internet
  3. Outline to guide students as to the types of information they should be looking for (see #2 under Procedure)
  4. Various posters/pictures of the Solar System

Hubble Planet Photographs

      –photos of the planets from the Hubble.
Views of the Solar System

      –Students can click on the photos to see a fact page and other photos. They can also find out about some history and people involved.

The Solar System in Pictures

      –Students can access photos, facts, and quizzes about planets and other satellites.

The Solar System

      –Students can click on the solar system and then on a planet name to find out more about it along with a picture.

The Virtual Solar System

      –This site provides facts and pictures as well as a scale model of the solar system that is quite fascinating to scroll through.
Welcome to the Planets

    –This provides pictures and facts, courtesy of NASA. There are a variety of pictures here.

Anticipatory Set:

I will have posted pictures of the planets around the room and other space materials on bulletin boards. I also will put up a model of the Solar System with distances somewhat in proportion. We will work on a KWL chart, filling in things we already know and questions about what we want to learn.


  1. Students will be divided into teams of 2 or 3 (I prefer pairs–they tend to get along better.) and then will choose a major object from the Solar System to research. I will avoid duplications if at all possible.
  2. As a class, we will then review our questions from the KWL chart to make a list of the types of information that students should be looking for. Students will copy the list and add any additional questions of their own for their topic.
  3. We will have a class discussion of the proper way to cite materials and a class-made poster of example citations will appear on the wall for student reference.
  4. Teams will take turns researching the Internet, using the URLs I have provided (I will put these in a Solar System folder in our MS Internet Explorer “Favorites.”) Students may also use sites such as Yahooligans and Awesome Library to find information. They will follow classroom rules for computer/Internet use.
  5. Teams that are waiting to do Internet research will use hard copy reference materials available in the classroom and in the school library.
  6. Students will take notes as they find answers to their list of questions.
  7. When teams finish note taking, they will conference with me about the information they have found. If the outcome of the conference is that all necessary information is located, teams will then begin writing their reports following the proper writing format that they have already learned.
  8. Students will share their reports with the class.


  1. The class will complete the KWL chart by entering what students have learned through the research and report-sharing process.
  2. Each team could make at least 1 Kid Pix slide to include in a Solar System slide show.
  3. A math lesson on comparing numbers would be a natural extension.

Connections: This naturally connects to the English curriculum with the writing and public speaking involved. Math is integrated easily with the comparing of sizes and distances.

E-Mail Carol Kussart !

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