Monday, November 28, 2011

Annotated Bib - The Solar System

The solar system is made up of all the planets that orbit our sun. We now know that our sun is the center of our solar system around eight planets, a handful of dwarf planets, 170 named moons, dust, gas, and thousands of asteroids and comets. Our solar system is made up of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.


13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System. By David A. Aguilar. 2011. National Geographic Children's Books, (9781426307706). Gr. 3-6.

This book is great for several reasons. For one, it provides great factual information about our solar system. Secondly, it gives students a background about how we discovered our solar system. Written in 2011 this book provides up to date information about our solar system. For example, it explains to students how as of today, there are considered to be eight classical planets and five dwarf planets.

Our Solar System. By Seymour Simon. 1992. 64p. Harper Collins, (9780688099923). Gr. 3-6.

Using real pictures, this book gives students a great look into our solar system. Furthermore, this book offers great information about the planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, comets and the sun. With fifty amazing photographs and an easy-to-read text, this book great for introducing students to the solar system.

Planets: A Solar System Stickerbook. By Ellen Hasbrouck. Ilus. by Scott McDougall. 2001. 32p. Little Simon, (9780689844140). Gr. 2-4.

Although this is titled as "stickerbook", this book still provides wonderful facts about the different characteristics of our solar system. What makes this book really fun for students though, is that in the back there are numerous stickers of planets, comets, asteroids, etc. that students can use to recreate our solar system for themselves. This book offers a great way for students to manipulate the different planets in order.

Postcards from Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System. By Loreen Leedy. Illus. by the author. 1996. 28p. Holiday House, (9780823412372). Gr. 2-4.

This fun book gives students a tour of the solar system led by robot tour guide Dr. Quasar. The students on the tour however, are able to send postcards back home to earth to tell about their trip around the solar system. Each postcard is detailed with wonderful facts about the solar system. This book would be a great way to start off a lesson.

What's Out There?: A Book About Space. By Lynn Wilson. Illus. by Paige Billin Frye. 1993. 32p. Grosset & Dunlap, (9780448405179). Gr. 1-4.

This book answers simple questions students might have about our solar system. With colorful illustrations, this book highlights different aspects of our solar system in a fun way. This book is written in very simple text. However, this book would then be a great tool to use when differentiating instruction for weaker students.


Kid's Astronomy
This interactive site shows kids an accurate view of our solar system. Students are then able to click each of the planets to learn more information about that specific planet. Each subpage gives students background information about the names of the planets, the weight of each planet, the moons of each planet, as well as specific information unique to each planet.

Make A Solar System
This interactive sites allows students to make their own solar system using the planets, asteroids, and comets. Students are able to add each planet to the solar system one at a time. This site is a great way for students to see how the solar system works.

Planet Song
This page on National Geographic Kids has a great song about the planets written by a student! The song was then recorded and sung by recording artist Lisa Loeb! This fun song is a great way for students to learn the different planets.

Solar System
This page shows students real images of the planets, as well as the sun. Students are then able to click on each image to learn more about the planet or sun. This site is fun in that it gives students unique facts about each planet, rather than just the basic facts.

Space School Musical
This site provides nine different videos of a space school "hip-hopera" musical. The videos introduce students to the solar system through song and dance. The musical specifically follows a teenager named Hannah on a trip through the solar system. The great thing about this site, is that the musical is broken up into nine different videos so that students and teachers can chose which ones to watch.

For Teachers

SOL 4.7 The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system. Key concepts include
a) the planets in the solar system;
b) the order of the planets in the solar system; and
c) the relative sizes of the planets.

Background Information:
  • Our solar system is ancient. Early astronomers believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies orbited around Earth. We now know that our sun is the center of our solar system and eight planets, a handful of dwarf planets, 170 named moons, dusts, gas, and thousands of asteroids and comets orbit around the sun.
  • Our solar system is made up of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • The eight planets sorted by size from largest to smallest are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
  • Pluto is no longer included in the list of planets in our solar system due to its small size and irregular orbit. Many astronomers questioned whether Pluto should be grouped with worlds like Earth and Jupiter. In 2006, this debate led the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the recognized authority in naming heavenly objects, to formally reclassify Pluto. On August 24, 2006, Pluto's status was officially changed from planet to dwarf planet.
  • A new distinct class of objects called "dwarf planets" was identified in 2006. It was agreed that "planets" and "dwarf planets" are two distinct classes of objects. The first members of the dwarf planet category are Ceres, Pluto and 2003 UB313, given the name Eris. More dwarf planets are expected to be announced by the IAU in the future.

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