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A science reading lesson on understanding our solar system.
 

THE SOLAR SYSTEM:
PLUTO THE DWARF

A science lesson on former planet Pluto and the solar system. Includes printable teaching reading comprehension lesson worksheets.

 

Objectives:

  • Students will learn why Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
  • Students will understand that science needs to change as new discoveries are made.
  • Students will be make comparisons between Pluto and other planets.

Suggested Grades:

3rd Grade - 4th Grade - 5th Grade

   

  

 

 

 
 

FORMER PLANET PLUTO LESSON

Directions:

Print the Pluto the Dwarf reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).

Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions.  Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.

Lesson Excerpt

   Pluto used to be called the ninth planet of our solar system.  In the summer of 2006, scientists of the International Astronomical Union, or IAU, met to discuss a change.  There were several reasons why calling Pluto a planet seemed wrong.

     First, Pluto is much smaller than any other planet.  It's less than half the size of Mercury, the smallest planet of all.  Also, Pluto did not follow the pattern the other planets followed.  The first four planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are called rocky or terrestrial planets.  They have solid surfaces with metal cores.  They have rocks and dust on their surfaces.  The next four planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) are called the gas giants.  They are much larger than the first four planets.  They do not have solid surfaces.

Continued...

LESSON PRINTABLES

Pluto the Dwarf Lesson and Worksheet

Print this science worksheet for this lesson.

 Includes reading passage, questions, and answer sheet.

 

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