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The Solar System
Functions:Reading, asking and giving information about the Solar System, speaking
about distances, colours
Structures: Basic adjectives, comparatives, superlatives,question forms
Vocabulary: tiny-malinkatý,reflecting-odrážející,mantle-příkrov,spin and flatten out- rotovat
a zplošťovat se,bunch-skupina,dwarf planet- trpasličí planeta,inner- vnitřní,solidpevný,outer-vnější,carbon dioxide-oxid uhličitý,primarily-především,sphere-koule,corejádro,convert-přetvářet,equal-rovnat se,axis-osa,diameter-průměr,completedokončit,gradual change-postupné změny,a thin layer- tenká vrstva,unlike-na rozdíl,resultsbýt následkem,continuous sunlight- neustálé sluneční světlo,darkness-temnota,absorbpohlcovat,set-sada
Grade the ninth grade; physics, chapter –The Solar System
ninety minutes( two lessons)
1. Introduce vocabulary associated with the Solar System, universe and basic adjectives,
comparatives, superlatives (see underlined words on Worksheet 1.)
2. Revise interrogative forms.
3. Check students are familiar with answering simple questions..
1. Use The planet Song( to practise pronuncation of planets´names
1.Ask the students in Czech what they can recollect about the Solar System..
2. Read through each paragraph from Worksheet A with the students, drawing attention to
the underlined words.
3. Practise comparisons using underlined words in Worksheet A.
1. Hand out one copy of Worksheets to each student. Students can work individually or with
a partner.
2. Explain to students they should read each paragraph again and then work out the
3. When all the students have finished, go through all the corrections with the class.
4. For Exercise 4 divide the class into two teams, let each team prepare the questions, then
let them ask and answer.
The Solar System
Worksheet A
When we look at the sky we see not only stars,but also planets. They look very similar at first- tiny
glowing points. When we use a small telescope we can see them as small spots reflecting the Sun`s
radiance. When a bigger telescope is used we can see their colours, gas mantles and various
surfaces. We call the nearest planets(meaning wanderers) the Solar System. It is made up of eight
planets orbiting the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
Our Solar System began to form about five billion years ago from a cloud of dust and gas. This dust
and gas began to spin and flatten out into a disc shape. In the centre of the disc the Sun was formed
and the planets were formed from other material in the disc. Our Solar System is made up of a star the Sun, eight planets, 146 moons ranging in size that are larger than our own moon to small
pieces, a bunch of comets, asteroids and space rocks, ice and several dwarf planets, such as Pluto.
The Solar System can be divided into two parts, inner planets and outer planets. The four inner
planets, which are closest to the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These are called the
terrestrial planets because they have solid rocky surfaces. The four large outer planets beyond the
orbit of Mars farther from the Sun areJupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These are called gas
Nearly every planet—and some of the moons—has an atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere is primarily
nitrogen and oxygen. Venus has a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, with traces of poisonous
gases such as sulfur dioxide. Mars's carbon dioxide atmosphere is extremely thin. Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune are primarily hydrogen and helium.
The Sun is a sphere of mainly hydrogen and helium gases about 1.4 million kilometers wide In its
core nuclear reactions convert mass into electromagnetic radiation. This is what makes the Sun
shine. Without the energy from the Sun life would not be possible on the Earth.
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It is also the smallest planet and has no moons. There are
thousands of craters across its surface. It goes around the Sun about once every 88 days, therefore
Mercury has the shortest year of all planets. It looks grey.
Venus is nearly the same size as the Earth. One day on Venus is equal 243 days on Earth, it takes
225 days to orbit the Sun. Sometimes Venus can be seen in the early evening or morning, so for
that reason Venus is often called a morning star or evening star. It is smaller than the Earth and it is
cream- coloured.
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and it takes 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds to
complete the orbit. The Earth rotates on its axis once every 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds. It
has one natural satellite, the Moon, which is about 384,000 km away. Sometimes the Moon passes
between the Earth and the Sun causing an event called an eclipse. Seen from space, the Earth
looks like a big blue sphere.
Mars is only half the size of the Earth. It takes longer to orbit the Sun than the Earth-its year lasts
687 Earth days. Mars has two satellites- called Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror). Its red colour
made the Greeks and Romans name it after their God of War, Ares or Mars.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. Its diameter is 142,800km but it spins very quickly
taking only 9 hours 55.5 minutes to rotate on its axis; it takes 11.9 Earth years to complete the orbit
around the Sun. There is no solid surface, just a gradual change from gas to liquid. Jupiter has a
many satellites and rings. It is light-coloured with dark bands on it.
Saturn, the second largest planet in the Solar System, has diameter of 120,660km and takes 29.5
Earth years to orbit the Sun. What we can see from the Earth is a thin layer of cloud, below this is a
clear hydrogen-helium atmosphere. Saturn`s famous rings were first seen by Galileo Galilei in 1610.
Apart from the rings more than twenty satellites have been discovered. It has a yellow appearance.
Uranus, unlike other planets, spins on its side. This results in each pole spending 42 Earth years in
continuous sunlight and then the same time in darkness during the planet`s 84 Earth year orbit of
the Sun. Methane in the upper atmosphere absorbs red light and that is why Uranus has a bluegreen colour. Uranus has also five large satellites and two sets of rings.
Neptune, the eighth planet from the Sun, can not be seen without a large telescope. It takes
164.793 Earth days to orbit the Sun. There were are eight satellites and five rings around Neptune.
It is almost the size of Uranus, but a bit smaller. Neptune is blue.
Asteroids Scientists have found more than 90,000 asteroids, they are rocky remains from the
formation of the solar system in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Exercise 1
Worksheet B
Here are some simple definitions for words that appear in the text on Worksheet A. Find the words
they refer to an fill in the gaps.
1 s - - - s and p - - - - - s = objects that can be seen in the sky
2 t - - - - - - - e= a thing we use to observe objects in the sky
3 s - - - - - e = ground on various planets
4 - - - - t i - - = moving around the Sun
5 d - - - and g - - = mass objects which was solar system formed from
6 g - - - - - g = shining
7 - oo - - = natural satellites
8 - - n g - = belts made of various materials often seen moving around the planets
Exercise 2
Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. There are nine planets in our solar system.
2. The Sun was formed only from gas.
3. The Earth is about five billion years old.
4. There are only two planets with rings in the Solar System.
5. Mars is called an evening or morning star.
6. Mercury is the second smallest planet in the Solar System.
7. Neptune is the planet which spins on its side.
8. Into the Sun`s core nuclear reactions convert electromagnetic radiation into mass.
Exercise 3
Draw, colour and name the planets in the Solar System according to the clue and facts in
Worksheet A.
Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth.It is smaller than the Earth, but not much. Mercury is
closer to the Sun than Venus, it is smaller than Venus. If you imagine the Earth like a grape,
Mercury is the size of pea. Mars is further from the Sun than the Earth, it is smaller than the Earth
but larger than Mercury. If we see the Earth like a grape Jupiter is as big as a grapefruit. Saturn is
smaller than Jupiter,its size is the one of orange. Uranus is smaller than Saturn, but much larger
than the Earth, its size is the same as a lemon. Neptune is almost the size of Uranus, but just a bit
the Earth
Exercise 4
Worksheet C
Team A
Using the information in the text in Worksheet A, make questions using the words in the boxes. Use
only one box for each question and do not repeat any questions. When you have prepared the
questions, Team B will have to answer as a part of a quiz.
The smallest
Jupiter`s rings
How many planets
Inner planets
Blue planet
Uranus spin
Team B
Using the information in the text in Worksheet A, make questions using the words in the boxes. Use
only one box for each question and do not repeat any questions. When you have prepared the
questions, Team A will have to answer as a part of a quiz.
The biggest
Venus`s atmosphere
Solid surface
How many satellites
Outer planets
Red planet
Without a large
Usefull pieces of information.
Mercury 0.39
Neptune 30.1
( Earth`s)
Moons Density
(g/cm3 )