Module 1: Our Solar System & Beyond-Science 5A - Course Guide

Module Overview:

In this module, students will learn how our solar system was formed from a nebula, why the Sun is such an important part of our solar system, and learn the relationship between gravity and orbits. Students will learn the characteristics of the planets in our solar system, including dwarf planets. They will learn about comets, asteroids, meteors, and stars.

Module Materials:

Lesson # Lesson Title Material(s)
1 Formation of the Solar System pen or pencil
*Science 5A Workbook, ISBN 978-1-63916-106-5 (optional)
2 The Sun pen or pencil;
3 Gravity and Orbits pen or pencil;
4 Terrestrial Planets pen or pencil;
5 Jovian Planets pen or pencil;
6 Dwarf Planets pen or pencil
construction paper (optional)
crayons or colored pencils
7 Comets & Asteroids pen or pencil;
8 Meteoroids pen or pencil;
9 The Stars pen or pencil;

Module Objectives:

Lesson # Lesson Title Objective(s)
1 Formation of the Solar System
  1. Define and describe nebulae.
  2. Order the stages of development of our solar system.
2 The Sun
  1. Describe the importance of the Sun in our solar system.
  2. Differentiate between apparent brightness and absolute brightness.
3 Gravity and Orbits
  1. Describe the relationship between gravity and the planets’ orbits.
  2. Determine the effects of changing the mass or changing the distance on the strength of gravitational force between two objects.
  3. Describe the shape of the planets’ orbits around the Sun.
4 Terrestrial Planets
  1. Describe the characteristics of the terrestrial planets.
  2. Compare and contrast the terrestrial planets with Earth.
5 Jovian Planets
  1. Describe the characteristics of the Jovian planets (or gas giants).
  2. Compare and contrast the Jovian planets with Earth.
6 Dwarf Planets
  1. Define dwarf planets.
  2. Differentiate between planets and dwarf planets.
7 Comets & Asteroids
  1. Identify the characteristics of comets.
  2. Identify the characteristics of asteroids.
8 Meteoroids
  1. Define meteoroid.
  2. Differentiate between meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites.
9 The Stars
  1. Explain how stars are born.
  2. Describe how stars are classified.

Module Key Words:

Key Words
solar system
absolute brightness
apparent brightness
terrestrial planet
Jovian planet
gas giants
dwarf planet

Module Assignments:

Lesson # Lesson Title Page # Assignment Title
3 Gravity and Orbits 5 Assignment
6 Dwarf Planets 5 Assignment
9 The Stars 6 Assignment

Learning Coach Notes:


Module Guiding Questions:

When a student starts a lesson ask them questions to check for prior knowledge and understanding and to review concepts being taught. At the end of the lesson ask the questions again to see if their answer changes.

Lesson Title Question
Formation of the Solar System
  1. How did our solar system form?
The Sun
  1. What are the structure and characteristics of our Sun?
Gravity and Orbits
  1. What affects the force of gravity?
Terrestrial Planets
  1. What are terrestrial planets?
Jovian Planets
  1. What are the Jovian planets?
Dwarf Planets
  1. What is a dwarf planet?
Comets & Asteroids
  1. What are comets and asteroids?
  1. What is a meteoroid?
The Stars
  1. How are stars born?

Module Video Questions:

When a student watches a video take time to ask them questions about what they watched. Suggested questions for the videos in this module are listed here. Suggestion: Have the student watch the entire video first all the way through. Then have them watch the video a second time, as they watch it pause the video and ask the questions.

Lesson Title Video Question
Formation of the Solar System Formation of the Solar System
  1. Approximately how many solar systems are in the Milky Way Galaxy?
  2. How did our Solar System form?
  3. What interstellar object collapsed in on itself and began forming our solar system?
The Sun The Sun
  1. What is the sun?
  2. Why is the sun important to Earth?
  3. What size star is the sun?
  4. How old is the sun?
  5. What kind of star is the sun classified as?
  6. What is the core of the sun made of?
  7. How long does it take for the energy of the sun to reach the Earth?
Gravity and Orbits Exploring Gravity
  1. What is gravity?
  2. What are the two factors that affect the force of gravity?
  3. Who discovered gravity?
Gravity and Orbits Gravity and Orbits
  1. What is an orbit?
  2. Why does the Moon orbit around Earth?
  3. Why do the planets orbit around the Sun?
Terrestrial Planets Terrestrial Planets
  1. What are the terrestrial planets?
  2. What are the characteristics of terrestrial planets?
Terrestrial Planets Mercury
  1. What are the characteristics of Mercury?
Jovian Planets Jovian Planets
  1. What are the characteristics of the Jovian planets?
Jovian Planets Jupiter
  1. What are the characteristics of Jupiter?
Dwarf Planets What is a dwarf planet?
  1. What are the characteristics of dwarf planets?
  2. What dwarf planets are in our solar system?
Comets & Asteroids Comets
  1. What are the characteristics of a comet?
  2. What makes the comet's tail?
  3. What is special about Haley's comet?
Meteoroids Meteoroids
  1. What are the defining characteristics of meteoroids?
The Stars The Stars
  1. What two gases are the basic ingredients of all stars?
  2. What do the colors of stars indicate?
  3. Where do stars come from?
  4. What are nebulae?

Module Suggested Read Aloud Books:

Take time to read to your student or have them read aloud to you. Read a different book each day. While reading the book point out concepts being taught. You may purchase these books or find them at your local library. Suggested things to discuss while reading the book:

  • What is the main idea?
  • What are three things new you learned?
  • How does this book relate to what you are learning about?

# Book Author Lexile Level
1 Our Solar System Seymour Simon NC1020L
2 Seven Wonders of the Milky Way David A. Aguilar 1150L
3 Dwarf Planets: Pluto and the Lesser Planets Nadia Higgins 560L
4 Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids Seymour Simon 1050L
5 Gravity Jason Chin 300L
6 Mercury: The Iron Planet Lincoln James
7 Venus Elaine Landau 750L
8 Destination: Planet Earth Jo Nelson
9 Discovering Mars: The Amazing Story of the Red Planet Melvin Berger 910L
10 Jupiter: Planets in Our Solar System Baby Professor
11 The Secrets of Saturn Kassandra Kathleen Radomski 950L
12 The Secrets of Uranus Thomas K. Adamson 830L
13 The Secrets of Neptune Thomas K. Adamson 860L
14 Comets Nick Hunter NC800L
15 Gravity Is a Mystery Dr. Franklyn M. Branley
16 The Planets in Our Solar System Dr. Franklyn M. Branley
17 Big Bang!: The Tongue-Tickling Tale of a Speck That Became Spectacular Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
18 Stars Seymour Simon 910L
19 The Sky Is Full of Stars Dr. Franklyn M. Branley 570L

Module Outing:

Take some time to apply what your student is learning to the real world. Suggested outings are below.

# Outing
1 Visit a local planetarium and attend one of their programs on space.