Planetary Systems Unit

Unit Description:

The Planetary Systems unit focuses on observable, predictable patterns of movement in the Sun, Earth, Moon system including Moon phases, Sunrise and Sunset, rotation and revolution, seasons and day/night. The influence of gravity and energy from the Sun on the planets and other solar system objects is also addressed throughout the unit. Technology is used in this unit to research information about the Solar System and technology, such as satellites, used to study the planets, moons, asteroids and Sun. Students collect data on Moon phases, Sunrise and Sunset and tides and use this data to observe visible patterns caused by the motion of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Modeling, analyzing data and researching data from the internet are some methods used to effectively teach this unit.

Essential Questions:

  • What predictable, observable patterns occur as a result of the interaction between the Earth, Moon, and Sun? What causes these patterns?
  • How does Earth’s physical characteristics and motion compare to other bodies in the Solar System?
  • How has technology expanded our knowledge of the Solar System?

Parents Letter for Planetary Systems Unit: 


Example Lesson Plans:

 -Project due 02/19/2010-
-Will be completed in small groups in class-
-Activity will be done in class-

Unit Weblinks:





-Learning Theory Lesson Coding: Constructivism, Cognitivism, Behaviorism-