Full lesson plan: Designing a model solar system

Over the summer, I occasionally teach a small summer math class for my daughter and her friends around my dining room table. Mostly to preserve the memory for future years… and to provide a resource to my friends who wonder what their children are learning… I’ll write up the best of these lesson plans in full detail.

This was a fun activity that took a couple of hours: designing a model Solar System. I chose the scale so that most of the planets would fit on a straight section of sidewalk near my house; of course, the scale could be changed to fit the available space.

For my particular audience of students, I also worked through the basics of the metric system as well as decimals.

This lesson plan is written in a 5E format — engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate — which promotes inquiry-based learning and fosters student engagement.

Model Solar System Handout

Model Solar System Lesson

Post Assessment

P.S. For what it’s worth, the world’s largest model solar system can be found in Sweden.