Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Planets: Teachers

Space is the Place


The Space Place is an integrated set of activities about space for elementary-school-age kids, with cool images, animations, hands-on projects, games, puzzles, and more.

NASA's Solar System Exploration site is the place to learn all about the planets. You'll also want to check out the interactive real-time map that shows the positions of planets, moons and spacecraft right now.

Explore the solar system with text, pictures, sounds, and occasional movies at The Nine Planets. Each of the planets and major moons in the solar system is described and illustrated with pictures from NASA.

See how the Hubble Space Telescope has expanded our knowledge of the planets in our solar system.

Exploring the Planets, from the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, has a wealth of information about our solar system, planetary comparisons, tools of exploration, and more.

The Planetary Society describes the past, current, and future space missions for each planet in our solar system.

Planetary Resources

Hour Glass

If you don't have any time to look at any other links, then this is the place for you. Windows on the Universe offers the choice of appropriate educational levels — beginner, intermediate, or advanced. It is brought to you by the National Earth Science Teachers Association.

Here is an interactive lesson about the orbits of the planets.

For K-3 educators, Ready Jet Go! from PBS has short videos and resources for teaching about the solar system and the planets.

This lesson for grades 3-5 combines number sense and data analysis with planetary science, as students explore ways to order the planets.

The European Space Agency offers Teach With Space: Our Solar System, a complete teacher's guide to a research project for grades 3-5.

Want a convenient way to find NASA space science resources for use in classrooms, science museums, planetariums, and other settings? Check out the NASA Wavelength. It's searchable or browsable by keyword, topic, and/or grade level.

Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities


NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have some terrific hands-on classroom activities for educators. You may also want to check out the lesson plans on NASA's Star Child site and the do-it-yourself projects on its Solar System site.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute offers lessons and activities for all ages. Check out Shaping the Planets, Jupiter's Family Secrets, Life on Mars, Skytellers: Solar System (elementary students), and Planetary Characteristics (middle school.)

Find power point presentations on the inner planets and the outer planets.

How about a space school musical from NASA? Your students can view the videos, download the music, or even put on the play.

Have students create their own solar system crossword puzzles in this lesson that combines science with technology.

In this Dragonfly TV episode, kids are encouraged to "think like a scientist" by using infrared technology to investigate Mars.

In this collection of planetary education activities, you can filter lessons by age, grade, time required and core skills.

How big is the solar system? This activity from Las Cumbres Observatory will help middle school students understand the distances between planets.

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