Age 9-11: Concept 4 - Systems: Unit 1

Blast off on an adventure through our solar system. Explore the Sun, each of the 8 planets, and our own Moon. Learn about the history and future of space exploration.

This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, A Wrinkle in Time.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fourth or fifth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Our Solar System (3 Days)
  • Lesson 2: The Sun
  • Lesson 3: The Moon (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: What's in the Sky? (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: The History of Space (2 Days)
  • Final Project: A Tour of the Solar System (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze a historic timeline of space exploration. (Science)
  • Analyze the benefits generated by space exploration technology. (Science)
  • Analyze the components and cycles of the solar system including the planets and ellipses. (Science)
  • Analyze the cycles of the solar system including seasons, days, and years. (Science)
  • Compare and contrast the Earth to other planets in terms of size, composition, and relative distance from the Sun. (Science)
  • Describe how the Moon's appearance changes during the four-week lunar cycle. (Science)
  • Describe the setting of the solar system in the universe. (Science)
  • Experience how telescopes magnify the appearance of some distant objects in the sky, including the Moon and the planets. (Science)
  • Explain how the position of the Sun changes during the course of the day and from season to season. (Science)
  • Explain space explorations and the understandings gained from them. (Science)
  • Name the components of the solar system, including planet Earth, the Moon, the Sun, seven other planets and their satellites, asteroids, and comets. (Science)
  • Recognize NASA technologies used to explore space. (Science)
  • Recognize that the position of the Sun in the sky changes during the course of a day and from season to season because the Earth is constantly rotating and revolving. (Science)
  • Recognize the differences between comets, asteroids, and meteors. (Science)
  • Recognize the solar system includes the planet Earth, the Moon, the Sun, seven other planets and their satellites, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. (Science)
  • Recognize the Sun as the central and largest body in the solar system, composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. (Science)
  • Understand that Earth is one of several planets that orbit the Sun and that the Moon orbits Earth. (Science)
  • Understand that the path of a planet around the Sun is due to the gravitational attraction between the Sun and the planet. (Science)
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