Reflection: Rigor Outer Planets - Section 4: Part 2 (Reflection/Simulation - Organization - Illustration)


In both this and the prior lesson, inner planets, students are asked to calculate and construct scale models of the distance between the planets. This is one of my favorite lessons to be taught all year as it requires students to consider the massive scale of the solar system and reduce it down to a distance of less than 100 m. When doing so students develop a visual model for the scale distances between the inner planets as compared to the outer planets. In the past I have let groups of 3 to 4 students choose a scale distance from which to build their model. I ensure that there are no repeated scales such that each table group for all of my science classes builds their own individual model. They then create signs for each planet and make an installation somewhere inside or outside of the school grounds to display their scale model. It's great for all the other students in the building (I work in a K-8 building) to be able to walk around and see these different scale models.

  CCC:Scale and Proportion
  Rigor: CCC:Scale and Proportion
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Outer Planets

Unit 8: Where Is Earth In Space?
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: SWBAT analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties and characteristics of the four outer planets.

Big Idea: In these activities students compare the outer planets.

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