Ch 15: The Solar System Formation Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Solar System Formation chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the scientific theories that explain how planets were formed and how these planets are still changing. 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 Formation 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 Overview of the solar system Radiation pressure, planet types, rotation, revolution, kulper belt, comets, meteorites, meteros, and meteoroids
Tuesday Solar Nebula Theory Go over the theory in detail, discuss the relationship between the theory and how the solar system was formed, and review the processes that cause motion within our solar system, (e.g. flattening, heating, and spinning)
Wednesday Planetary formation: Part I Techniques for identifying the age of celestial bodies in the solar system, gravitational collapse, differentiation, uncompressed densities, condensation, iceline, accretion, heat formation, protoplasts, plenetesimals, and condensation sequence
Thursday Planetary formation: Part II Outline how protoplanets and plenetesimals form and grow, heat of formation, protosun, outgassing, Jovian planets, core accretion model, Jovian problem, direct collapse, and disk instability model
Friday Planetary characteristics and temperature Identify the four major characteristics that help scientists determine how the solar system was formed, investigate the differences between actual planetary temperature and theoretical temperature, and define the following terms related to temperature: solar constant, thermal equilibrium, and albedo.

10 Lessons in Chapter 15: The Solar System Formation Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

1. The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

This lesson will go over the theory that explains how the solar system formed, what theory had once competed with it, and what important implication this theory carries.

Solar Nebula Theory & Patterns of Planetary Motion

2. Solar Nebula Theory & Patterns of Planetary Motion

This lesson will tie together the solar nebula theory and the patterns of motions of the planets in our solar system and why Venus and Uranus are exceptions in the solar system.

The Condensation Sequences & Planetary Formation

3. The Condensation Sequences & Planetary Formation

In this lesson, you'll learn why the planets have different densities despite being formed from the same solar nebula. We'll cover condensation, uncompressed densities, the ice line, and the condensation sequence.

What is the Age of the Solar System?

4. What is the Age of the Solar System?

This lesson will tell you how old our solar system is and how we know that's the case thanks to radioactive decay, isotopes, half-life, and the solar nebula.

What Are Planetesimals?

5. What Are Planetesimals?

This lesson will define what planetesimals are, how they relate to the solar nebula and protoplanets, and how they interacted with one another to eventually help form the planets in our solar system.

How Do Protoplanets Grow?

6. How Do Protoplanets Grow?

This lesson will teach you about protoplanets, how they formed, and most importantly, how their formation resulted in the planets we see today. We'll also cover outgassing, gravitational collapse, heat of formation, differentiation, and more!

What Is the Jovian Problem?

7. What Is the Jovian Problem?

This lesson goes over the two ways the Jovian planets may have formed, called the core accretion model and disk instability model, as well as the Jovian problem and which model solves it.

Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

8. Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

This lesson will go over some characteristics of the planets in our solar system with respect to their masses, diameters, temperatures, densities, and rotation.

Theoretical vs. Actual Temperature in our Solar System

9. Theoretical vs. Actual Temperature in our Solar System

This lesson will go over the predicted vs. observed temperature of major celestial bodies in our solar system, if there's a discrepancy between them, and why.

Solar System Overview

10. Solar System Overview

This lesson will go over the major aspects of our solar system, including the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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