Solar System Planets Activity and Gallery Walk


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This activity is great for a nice quite day in class or a sub plan, the kids get really into it and there’s no prep! Jigsaw activities are a cooperative learning strategy that empowers students to specialize in one aspect of a topic that they eventually use to teach their peers. In the case of this activity they will specialize in a planet. Students will look up given information and create a colorful flier filled with important facts about their assigned planet. Then the students hang their flier on the walls of the classroom for the gallery walk portion of the activity. This is where other students use the hand out to learn about every planet and fill in the worksheet. I split the class in 8 groups (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). With this strategy, each student ends up learning about all the planets from their peer’s research and completes the “Jigsaw Puzzle”. I provide the student sheets, hand-outs and a key.


ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe

ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System: The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.


Describe the planet’s surface.

Describe the chemical makeup of planet’s atmosphere.

If you went there what would you experience?

If you went there what would you need to bring to survive for one day?

What’s it named after (Roman God)

Size relative to Earth

Rotation Time (Earth hours or days)

Rotation direction (clockwise/counter-clockwise)

Revolution time (Earth months or years)

Surface Temperature Range (Fahrenheit)

Your weight on this planet in pounds (show your math)

Distance to sun in Astronomical Units

Terrestrial or Gaseous planet

Has atmosphere: Yes or No

Has rings: Yes or No

Inner or Outer planet

14. Number of natural satellites (moons):

15. If present, name of best known moon:


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Try out some other Williams’ Hands on Science Astronomy labs and activities:

Human Sun Dial

Oreo Moon Phases Lab

Crashed on the Moon

The Sun Board Game

The Planets Board Game

Earth’s Orbit Around the Sun

Physical Science Growing Mega Bundle


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