Your students may know the planets in order. I remember learning “My Very Excited Mother Just Sent Us Nine. . .Pizzas”. Now that Pluto is a dwarf planet, it’s time to update our repertoire for teaching about the solar system. These solar system activities for the science classroom gets your students thinking critically and working as a team!
This is not your usual scavenger hunt! The Solar System Scavenger Hunt includes ingredient cards, but the hunt isn’t a piece of cake. Your students engage their brains by piecing together the recipe to win the great cake bake-off!
Fourteen ingredient cards each have short reading passages about the planets, a multiple-choice question, and, of course, a clue! Solving a clue brings your students to the next card.
Get ready for a fun-filled scavenger hunt perfect for task cards, scavenger hunts, partner work, independent work, and more!
Ready for another scavenger hunt? Try the Planet Earth Scavenger Hunt to stay a little closer to home.
I love using Choice Boards in the classroom. Give your students a choice of different solar system activities with this solar system digital notebook. The notebook includes eight digital tasks on Google Slides. Load them into Google Classroom and make a copy for each student to assign directly to your learners, or share the editable slides to groups of students in Google Classroom.
Let them choose from the eight digital tasks to demonstrate learning or work through each task throughout the unit. These digital tasks are also perfect for early finishers!
- Drag and Drop Questions
- Jigsaw Puzzle
- Fill in the Blank
- Vocabulary Words
- Short Response
- Maze Phrase
Use these resources to help your students learn more about the solar system in a fun, engaging way! These solar system choice board activities are perfect for stations, independent learning, groups, and more.
Of course, you’ll want to break out the nonfiction reading about the solar system. Make sure your students are getting all the info they need with self-grading solar system reading passages.
Share these Google Form quizzes with your students with topics on the sun, planets, asteroids, moons, comets, and dwarf planets (there’s Pluto). Google Forms are completely editable, so you can change questions and answers, add extra questions, and even print them out for students who prefer a paper format.
Once your students complete the questions, Google Forms lets you analyze the results. See which questions are missed the most often, and use the data to reteach and differentiate instruction. You can even give the questions as a pretest to help take advanced learners to the next step.
Have you tried an escape room with your students yet? Digital escape rooms don’t require any locks and boxes, but your students are still solving, decoding, and having fun!
The Solar System Digital Escape Room sets students up to solve a secret mission. Students explore two 360° view rooms as they decode puzzles and find facts about the Sun, planets, asteroids, moons, comets, and dwarf planets. You’ll need access to Jigsaw Planet along with the Google Site to solve the puzzles!
Each digital escape room includes four activities complete with reading passages and a quiz.
Don’t forget about differentiating for all learners. The readings have a “read to me” option and a “how to decode” puzzles handout to help your struggling readers.
Books About the Solar System
Digital resources and games are fun, but supplementing your curriculum with colorful, immersive texts about the solar system helps your learners find even more joy in learning about the planets, the sun, and more!
This National Geographic encyclopedia. Gorgeous pictures accompany the writing about what we know about the planets, the stars, the planets, the possibility of life beyond earth, and the future of space exploration. Start with theories on how the universe began in this beautifully illustrated and photographed book full of text features to share with your students.
The popular “Who is” and “Where is” books bring Where is Our Solar System? Learn about astronomers Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton and the origins of modern astronomy to NASA’s 21st century space missions.
This book is perfect for upper elementary readers complete with fantastic illustrations!
If Buzz Aldrin writes an intro to a space book, I am in! Yes, astronaut Buzz Aldrin writes the forward to this National Geographic space atlas. This beautifully bound book is 352 pages of photos and text features for a space fan!
Share this book with your advanced readers as a complement to their space unit.
Out of this World Solar System Activities
These engaging and exciting activities and resources are perfect for your upper elementary and middle school science students. From Mercury to Neptune, your students explore the planets, stars, sun, and beyond! You may have some future astronomers and astronauts in your classroom.