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Lesson Plan Format

Name: Lindsey Baker

Grade Level: 3rd grade
Date: 3/16/16
Group Size: Small group
Subject/Lesson Topic: Science/Planets
Objectives: (TLW:)
TLW be able to describe different planets
TLW identify the correct order from the sun in the solar system
TLW demonstrate characteristics of each planet
Identify, in order, the planets of the solar system (ESS-E-B1)
Contextual Factors:
The classroom is composed of various needs. The classrooms spoken language is
English, however, some students are Spanish speaking. There is a range of
developmental ability. Tests must be read orally to the entire class, and extra time
should be given, if necessary.
Teacher Materials/Resources:
Balloons blown up
Facts sheet
Fill in the blank assessment worksheet
Student Materials/Resources:
Balloon blown up
Construction paper
Facts sheet
Fill in the blank assessment worksheet
Technology Integration:
A short Youtube video will be played of a song about the order of the planets.
Song for Kids/ Solar System Song, Kids Learning Tube.
Family/Community Connection or Extension:

One thing that the parents could do at home with their child based on the planets,
would be to create their own solar system using household items. If the student
wants to bring it to class, it will be displayed for everyone to see and talk about.

The students will be asked if they know the planets in order from the sun. This
will be informal and will not take long at all. How many of you can tell me the
order of the plants in our solar system?
Lesson Procedure and Activities:
Okay class, today we are going to learn about the solar systems and their order
from the sun.
First, we will listen to a song while watching the video. Song for Kids/ Solar
System Song, Kids Learning Tube. (
After that is finished, break the class up into small groups of about 2-3 students.
Modify to make sure there are eight groups, one for each planet.
Tell each group what planet they have and give then their corresponding facts
sheet along with a blown up balloon.

Explain to the class that they will have 30 minutes to read about their planet and to
design the balloon in a way that describes the planet.
Let them design it however they want, but including all group members.
Monitor the class while they are working and answer any questions that are asked.
Once each group is finished, have them each go in front of the classroom. Okay,
lets see if you can remember our song about the order of the planets from the sun.
Pretend our sun is on the board and you have to place yourselves in order from that
throughout the classroom.
Replay the song if needed.
Let them move independently and see if they can communicate to problem solve
where each planet goes in the correct order.
Help when needed.
After the students have lined up where they think they belong, tell the students that
sometimes people make up a saying to help them remember an order. I have a
saying, My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos! Lets say it together and
each letter of the first word stands for a planets name. My Very Excited Mother Just
Served Us Nachos.
Lets double check our order of the solar system. Start with the first group. If it is
not Mercury, tell them to step out and put the Mercury group in their place. Continue
doing this until youve gotten to Neptune. When you get to each correct planet, ask
the group to tell you something theyve learned from their fact sheet based on their

given planet.
Go over the order of the planets in the solar system by saying the fun saying
again, My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos.
Tomorrow we will talk more about planets and will see if you can remember their
correct order.
Collect all of the balloons and hang up on the ceiling in the correct order for them
to reference later.
To meet the needs to lower developmental learners, I will pair them with a group
that are at a higher developmental level, but make sure the higher student will not
take over and will include them.
For the students who are not fluent in English, I will pair them up with another
student who can help translate unknown words.
Formative Assessment/Evaluation:
A quick assessment will be given through a fill in the blank worksheet. It will
include a word bank of each of the planets. I will allow the students to work in
their group to complete this.

Small Group Reflection:

Providing time in the school day to have small group time is beneficial to the students. It
needs to be developmentally appropriate in order for the children to grow and improve. Small
groups can take the advantage of student diversity as well as homogenous needs (Lemlech,
2010, p. 63). Small groups are effective when teachers need to modify instruction. These groups
have often been predetermined by the teacher based on each childs understandings and ability
level. Teaches are often closer to students when teaching in a small group compared to the whole
group. A strong small group should include many differentiations depending on the current
group. A developmentally appropriate group size is around 4-6 students. The teacher is able to
work more closely and help the students close the learning gap while making it a more
personable experience.
Some recommended teaching strategies to use during small group include discovery,
exploration, creative goals, and inquiry (Lemlech, 2010). When doing my small group activity, I
was able to go around and ask each group what were some key characteristics about their
specific planet. I also engaged in asking them the question of where does their planet go in the
order from the sun in our solar system. The students were able to independently explore and
research about their planet. As they were working together, many of them were talking about
what was unique or interesting about their planet. Exploration is developmentally appropriate for
third graders because it provides evidence that they are interested in understanding the topic or
Overall, this lesson was not the best. It was hard for the students to understand that they
could not just draw anything on the planets that they had to read and find the information first.
Each group had a different planet which was nice, but it was also hard because they were trying

to look at other groups for ideas. I liked how they had to create their planet using a balloon,
which would later be displayed in the order from the sun; however, using balloons was hard for
the students to draw and glue things too. Most of the planets turned out well though. The only
learning standard that is stated in Common Core about planets was to learn them in the order
from the sun. It does not require the students to have knowledge about the planets. I tried to
incorporate as many characteristics as I could within this lesson for each planet even though that
was not required. When I asked the students to list the planets in order from the sun, most could
not do this. It is clear that I should have spent more time explaining the order rather than the
characteristics. More work will need to be done in order to fulfill the learning standard. I think
the acronym that I taught them helped. Children seem to memorize lists and other orders through
song and dance. When re-teaching this, I might incorporate more songs and fun saying for them
to have a better grasp of the order of the planets in our solar system.