Solar System Teaching Resources
Rocket your students into your next space lesson with printable solar system worksheets and diagrams, outer space word walls, activities designed around the planets, and hundreds more teaching resources created by elementary teachers for your classroom!
This collection of curriculum-aligned teaching resources makes teaching about the planets, sun, moon, and the rest of the galaxy easy with editable Google Slide templates that can be easily adapted to differentiate instruction for your individual students. Aligned to Next Gen science standards, each resource has undergone the Teach Starter teacher team review process to ensure it's ready to use in your classroom.
New to this part of the science curriculum or just looking for fresh ideas to inspire kids about space? Read on for tips from our teacher team!
How Do You Teach Space to Elementary Students?
It's a complicated question, we realize, and every teacher will have their own answer based on both personal teaching philosophy and the state standards their students need to meet. But space has fascinated kids (and grown-ups) for centuries, at least as far back as the days of Galileo inventing the telescope in the 1600s. And while more and more kids want to grow up to be a social media influencer, there are still plenty of students who are listing "astronaut" as a future career aspiration — a fact that we can't help but attribute at least in part to teachers and their inspiring lessons on space!
So how do you write your space lesson plans? It might help to start with the themes and topics that kids typically learn throughout elementary school, no matter where you teach:
- The Solar System: Your students will get to know the eight planets of our solar system and the names of each, plus their order from the sun and their characteristics.
- The Sun: Students should be learning that the sun is a star as well as learning how it creates light and heat and how it affects the Earth.
- The Moon: Kids will learn about the moon's phases plus its role in the ocean's tides and its relationship to the Earth.
- Stars and Galaxies: The classification of stars and the constellations they form are on tap at this level. Kids may also learn about galaxies and the universe.
- Space Exploration: Taking off with the astronauts of NASA, elementary learners should be exposed to lessons about the history of space exploration, the first moon landing, and the various space missions.
- Space Travel: Related to the concept of exploration, this is a good time to talk about the challenges of space travel, such as zero gravity, and the importance of spacesuits and other equipment.
- Space Technology: What's going on in that wide space outside of the Earth's atmosphere? It's time to teach about space technology, including satellites, telescopes, and the International Space Station.
Phases of the Moon – Comprehension Worksheet
Analyze different moon phases and how their visual appearances change over time with this reading comprehension worksheet.
Moon Phases – Cut and Paste Activity
Create a diagram showing the different moon phases and their names with this cut-and-paste activity sheet.
Funky Summer Sun Craft Activity
Use this summer-themed craft activity to end the school year and welcome summer break to town!
Let's Research! Digital and Print Poster Project Templates
Conduct, organize, and display research about books, people, planets, animals, states, and countries with a versatile set of printable and digital poster templates.
Earth's Rotation and Revolution – Instructional Slide Deck
Explore the difference between rotation and revolution while learning about the day and night cycle, what causes the seasons to change, and more with this instructional slide deck.
Mars vs. Earth - Differentiated Paired Passage Worksheets
Learn about the planets with differentiated compare and contrast passages, activities, and writing opportunities.
Our Solar System - Interactive and Printable Cloze Reading Activity
Practice and review concepts associated with the solar system using a cloze passage.
Day and Night – Worksheet
Encourage your students to illustrate the day and night cycle with this free worksheet.
The Seasons Around the World Posters and Worksheet
A diagram showing the Earth's rotation around the sun and the corresponding seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
What About Me? Other Regions and Objects of the Solar System
A worksheet that explores other features in the solar system besides the sun and the planets.
Movement of the Sun, Earth, and Moon Model
A hands-on model to demonstrate the interplay and movements of the sun, Earth and moon.
Number and Algebra Mathematics Investigation - The Solar System in Our Space
A mathematics investigation about number and the scale of the solar system, embedded in a real-world context.
Let the Sun Shine In! - Worksheet
A worksheet to use when exploring the sun as a light source.
Planets of the Solar System Posters
Use this set of visually striking and informative posters about the planets of our solar system in your classroom.
The Tides Poster
A poster highlighting the tides on Earth and how they are effected by the Moon.
Sun and Moon Effects - Your Shadow Activity
An activity to highlight the changing position of the sun.
Science Experiment - Changing Shadows
A science experiment which explores how shadows change throughout the day.
Interplay of the Sun, Earth and Moon Poster
A poster showing the interplay of the Sun, Earth and Moon.
The Relative Distance From the Sun to Earth
Scaled images of the sun and Earth to use when exploring relative size and distance.
Individual Planet Posters
Use this set of posters with your space unit when teaching the individual planets.
Solar System Word Wall Vocabulary
A set of solar system related vocabulary cards for a word wall.
Informative Text Writing Task – What Causes the Seasons?
A scaffolded writing task for students to complete when learning about the informative text type.
The Daytime Sky - Worksheet
A worksheet that explores features of the daytime sky.
The Nighttime Sky - Worksheet
A worksheet that explores features of the nighttime sky.
Virtual Background for Teachers - Planet Theme
Download a virtual background image with a planets theme for recording videos for students, as video wallpaper when meeting with parents on a video conference, and more.
Planet Project Template
Practice research skills by exploring each planet and creating a visual display of information.
Planets of Our Solar System – Teaching Presentation
Practice identifying the planets in Earth's solar system and their position in relation to the Sun with this 21-slide presentation.
Planet Mini-Book Collection
Read and learn about the planets of our solar system with this collection of 8 mini-books.
Planets of Our Solar System – Worksheet
Use this worksheet to review planet order, features, and classifications.
Space Adventure Board Game
Review the order of the planets with a fun space adventure board game.
Space Coloring Pages
Use this space coloring pages to celebrate World Space Week or as a brain break activity during class.
Sun, Earth, and Moon Task Cards
Review information about the Earth, Sun, and Moon with this set of task cards.