"Dress Up" as a Planet
In this activity, students will use props to "dress" like a planet. By creating these "dressed up planets, the students will remember the major characteristics of each planet.
The student will gain an understanding of the characteristics of the planets in the Solar System.
2 pairs sunglasses
1 large piece red construction paper
1 pair gloves
4 index cards labeled "GAS"
4 hoola hoops
1 potted plant
1 sign "HOME SWEET HOME"
labeled planet picture cards (These can be purchased or made with pictures from magazines or from internet.
variety of planet books
1. Begin by asking the students:
How are the planets the same? How are they different? What
is the order of the planets in the Solar System in relation to the Sun?
The students should be sharing some of the similarities and differences about the planets.
2. Divide the class into group of two or three. Tell the children that they will be using the props to dress a student as a planet. The child in each group with a birthdate closest to the date of this activity will be the "dressed up" planet.
3. Give each team a planet card. Lay out the props on a large table. Each team should write a short proposal as to why they need a certain prop. After teacher approval, each team is to dress the student as the planet and present the planet to the class.
Suggestions for Props:
Mercury: sunglasses to represent its position close to the sun, rock for rocky (terrestrial) planet
Venus: sunglasses to represent the position close the sun, blanket to represent the cloud cover, rock for rocky (terrestrial) planet
Earth: plant to represent life, HOME SWEET HOME sign to represent our home, rock for rocky (terrestrial) planet
Mars: red construction paper to represent the rust, rock for rocky (terrestrial planet)
Jupiter: hoola hoop to represent the ring, crown to represent the largest planet, index card labeled GAS for gas planet
Saturn: hoola hoop to represent the rings, index card labeled GAS for gas planet
Uranus: hoola hoop to represent the rings (placed between the legs represent the tilted planet; index card labeled GAS for gas planet
Neptune: hoola hoop to represent the rings, scarf to represent the cold and the distance from the Sun: index card labeled GAS for gas planet
Pluto: scarf and gloves to represent the cold and the distance from the Sun (the student should get down on his/her knees to represent the small size)
Have the students design travel brochures for each planet using a variety of planet books to describe major characteristics of the planet chosen.