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ESL Planets Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, introduce your ESL (English as a second language) students to the planets of our solar system. They will learn the names of the planets before discussing their location and relationship to other planets.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • give the names of the planets in our solar system in English
  • list the planets in correct sequential order
  • verbally communicate the location of the planets and their relation to each other in English

Length

30 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.1.I

Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.3

Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.4.A

Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Materials

  • Large poster showing the various sizes and colors of the planets as well as the asteroid belt (or a digital image that may be projected for the class)
  • Sheets of legal-size paper
  • Colored pencils/markers
  • Nine prepared fill-in-the-blank worksheets that ask students to fill-in facts about each planet; statements should include sentences such as:
    • Our planet is named _____.
    • Our planet is the _____ from the Sun.
    • To the right of our planet is the planet _____.
    • To the left of our planet is _____.
    • Our planet is far away from _____.
    • Our planet is the color _____.
    • Etc.
  • A fact sheet for kids about each of the nine planets

Vocabulary

  • Planet
  • Sun
  • Asteroid belt
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto
  • First, second, third, etc.

Instructions

  • Ask students if they know the English word 'planet.' For those familiar with the word, ask them for the native-language translation as well as a native-language definition to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  • In English (if possible), ask:
    • What is the name of the planet that we live on?
    • What circles our planet?
    • What is the difference between a planet and a moon?
  • Ask students to list out the names of all the planets they know. Write down the planet names on the board as students provide them.
  • Fill in the list and write out all of the planets' names on the board in English. Practice saying them as a class.

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