The Planets Are Moving!


The students will review the order of the planets.

The students will learn how the planets revolve around the sun.



Song: "The Family of the Sun"

large outdoor area

computer with Internet


Sing : The Family of the Sun
(to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell")

The family of the Sun,
The family of the Sun,
Here are nine planets in
The family of the Sun.

Mercury is hot
And Mercury is small.
Mercury has no atmosphere.
It's just a rocky ball.

The family of the Sun,
The family of the Sun,
Here's another planet in
The family of the Sun.

Venus has thick clouds
That hide what is below
The air is foul, the ground is hot,
It rotates very slow.

(Repeat Refrain)

We love the Earth, our home,
Its oceans and its trees.
We eat its food, we breathe its air,
So no pollution, please.

(Repeat Refrain)

Mars is very red.
It's also dry and cold
Some day you might visit Mars
If you are really bold.

(Repeat Refrain)

Great Jupiter is big.
We've studies it a lot.
We found that it has 16 moons
And a big red spot.

(Repeat Refrain)

Saturn has great rings.
We wondered what they were.
Now we know they're icy rocks
Which we saw as a blur.

The family of the Sun,
The family of the Sun,
Here are two more planets in
The family of the Sun.

Uranus and Neptune
We don't know much about
Maybe you will study them
And then we'll all find out.

(Repeat Refrain)

Pluto's last in line.
It's farthest from the Sun.*
It's small and cold and icy too.
To land there won't bw fun.

The family of the Sun,
The family of the Sun,
There are nine planets and
Now our journey's done.

Visit Elementary School Songs and click on Space to see more songs about the solar system

Introduce vocabulary words revolve and orbit.

Discuss meaning.

Tell students that the Sun is the center of our Solar System and that the planets move around it.

Have students go to Enchanted Learning- Stars to view a picture of planets revolving around the sun.

Have students create a model of the solar system.

Place a volunteer as "the sun" in the middle of a large area.

Have other volunteers as the planets. Space them out to represent the distance between the planets.

Mercury -1 foot (from the sun)

Venus -2 feet

Earth -3 feet

Mars -4 feet

Jupiter -5 paces (a pace is equal to 3 feet)

Saturn -8 paces

Uranus -17 paces

Neptune -26 paces

Pluto -34 paces

Have the volunteers hold a string of yarn all the way from Mercury to Pluto.

Once everyone is spaced out have the volunteers start "revolving" around the sun.


The students will also be assessed on the following questions about the solar system demonstration.

Which planets are closer to the Sun? (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars)

Which planets are farther away? (Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and Saturn)

Why do some planets take longer to revolve around the sun? (The further the planet is from the Sun, the longer it takes to go around it)

Extension: Build a Solar System Model

Guest Speaker:

Invite local Astronomical Society to the school for an evening viewing of the moon using their telescopes.