Today’s lesson allowed us to explore our solar system! We learned about the eight planets in our solar system and how to remember their order using a mnemonic device (a tool to aid in remembering)– My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. We also discussed why Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
A scale model was explored to reinforce the vastness of space. To demonstrate the distances from the sun, we used squares of toilet paper ( or tape measure) to represent astronomical units (AU), and laid the planets out to create a distance model. Students were surprised to see how close the inner planets were to each other, and how spread out the Gas Giants are in addition to being so far from the sun. We also discussed the “other stuff” in our solar system, like asteroid belts, comets, the Kuiper Belt and dwarf planets.