Ch 16: The Solar System Characteristics Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Solar System Characteristics chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the composition of planets and other celestial bodies within our solar system in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Solar System Characteristics chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday The inner and outer planets Review the differences and similarities in location, environments, and sizes of the following planets: Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn
Tuesday Properties and characteristics of Jupiter Liquid metallic hydrogen, magnetosphere, the Great Red Spot, Galilean moons, Jupiter's rings, other moons, and Jupiter's atmosphere
Wednesday Properties and characteristics of Saturn Saturn's rings, lower density, gravitational collapse, liquid metallic hydrogen, planetary layers, moons, and Titan
Thursday Uranus and Neptune Planetary twins, differences and similarities between these two planets, Voyager 2 discoveries, the relationship between Uranus's atmosphere and its color, effect of planetary temperature on appearance, the moons of Uranus, the moons of Neptune, International Astronomical Union (IAU), occultation and planetary rings, convection, Triton, and Nereid
Friday Planetary geology Review the techniques for studying planetary geology, understand the goals of planetary geologists, and define the following terms: geology, celestial bodies, planet, comet, moon, and asteroid

9 Lessons in Chapter 16: The Solar System Characteristics Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

1. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.

Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

2. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.

Jupiter's Important Properties

3. Jupiter's Important Properties

This lesson will go over the basic but important concepts related to Jupiter's interior, atmosphere, moons, and ring. You'll learn whether Jupiter is mainly a gaseous, liquid, or rocky planet!

Saturn's Major Characteristics

4. Saturn's Major Characteristics

This lesson will describe for you what Saturn is made of, how it compares to the Earth and Jupiter, and some interesting things about its rings and moon.

Belt-Zone Circulation on Jovian Planets

5. Belt-Zone Circulation on Jovian Planets

This lesson explores the concept of belt-zone circulation in the Jovian planets of our solar system as well as why it occurs and what the differences between bands and zones are. A short quiz follows after the video.

Jupiter's & Saturn's Magnetospheres

6. Jupiter's & Saturn's Magnetospheres

This lesson will compare and contrast the magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth. You'll learn how they're similar and what major difference exists between them.

Uranus's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation

7. Uranus's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation

This lesson will explore the planet Uranus, its atmosphere, internal layers, rings, moons, and much more. You'll learn why Uranus has such an interesting color and why it doesn't have the cool clouds Jupiter has.

Neptune's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Temperature

8. Neptune's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Temperature

This lesson will go over the major components of Neptune's atmosphere, interior, color, and why it is as warm as Uranus despite being farther away from the Sun.

Planetary Geology: The Study of Celestial Bodies

9. Planetary Geology: The Study of Celestial Bodies

Planetary geology is a field of geology that explores celestial bodies like planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. Scientists use a variety of advanced techniques and procedures to carry out their research on these distant bodies.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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