Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science


Science, level: Elementary
Activity Time: 30 MINUTES

Exploring Saturn and Uranus

Jessica Stover
Second Grade-19 students
Instruction Time-30 minutes


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the planets of Saturn and Uranus. The concepts of their unique rings and special characteristics of each will be presented. Some concepts included are: Saturn is famous for its rings, Rings are made out of large chunks of ice and rock, Saturn has seven major rings and Uranus has black rings. Students will construct a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the planets of Saturn and Uranus.
Students are familiar with the six planets located before Saturn and Uranus and understand that there are nine planets total. Students are not familiar with the specific characteristics of each planet, as well as construction of a Venn diagram.


Terminal Objective

Following a lesson on Saturn and Uranus, grade 2 students will be able to draw and label each planet
showing 2 specific individual characteristics of each, with 100% accuracy.

Enabling Objectives

Learners will be able to:
1. List Saturn and Uranus in the correct order from the Sun.
2. Can differentiate between Saturn and Uranus when shown a picture.
3. List characteristics of the planets Saturn and Uranus on a venn diagram.
4. Articulate similarities and differences between Saturn and Uranus.

Large class chart
Reproducible Venn diagram
Hula hoop


Saturn is famous for its seven major rings.

Rings are made from large chunks of rock and ice.

Saturn has 18 moons.

Uranus has a blue-green color.

Uranus has black rings and 19 moons.


A. Introduction and Motivation

T: Today we are going to continue discussing the solar system. Can anyone identify for me the two planets that we will discuss today by looking at our solar system chart?

Teacher waits for student responses.

T: That is correct! Today we are discussing planet 6 and 7 from the sun, but before we discuss the planets I think we should do something fun.

Using a ball in the center of the room, students will be asked to individually try to put the hula hoop around the ball.

Students will be told that the ball is representational of the planets Saturn and Uranus and the hula hoop simulates rings

B. Lesson Body

Identification and discussion of Saturn and Uranus

T: Saturn and Uranus are very special. Can you guess from the activity that we just completed what makes these planets special?

Students should respond with rings.

T: That is correct. Both Saturn and Uranus have rings.

There will be a large chart labeled Saturn on the left side, Uranus on the right, and "both" in the middle on the chalkboard. Students will then decide where to put the facts or characteristics of the planets Saturn and Uranus.

T: Where do I put the word "rings" if both planets have rings?

Students will hopefully grasp the concept that rings go under the "both" category, but the teacher needs to be ready to guide if extra time is needed to grasp this concept.

T: We are going to explore Saturn first today? Saturn has seven major rings. Where do I put "seven rings" then?

Teacher should allow time for student thought and guide them through this exercise. Students response here should be under the Saturn category.

T: Now look at Saturn closely. Can anyone tell me anything special about its appearance or rings?

Students responses will vary greatly. Teacher is looking for the response that Saturn's rings are flat and wide.

Back to the Top

T: Saturn has rings that are very wide and very flat. I have a difficult question for all of you, but I know you can do this? What do you think the rings are made from? Take a minute to think and then we will talk about it.

Teacher gives the students time to think and proceeds with taking questions and guiding conversation. Teacher will give clues and guide students through the problem solving process.

T: Very good! I am very proud of all of you. That was a hard question. The rings are made from rock and ice. This is very neat! Let's talk about moons. How many moons do you think Saturn has?

Teacher plays high-low with students until the number 18 is a response.

T: Very good! Saturn has 18 moons and how many moons does Earth have again?

Teacher writes 18 moons under Saturn's' category and calls on students who will hopefully respond with one.

T: Time to take off for Uranus. Look around the room at the posters. Can someone tell me what color Uranus is?

Students look around at posters and the expected response is the colors blue, or green.

T: Uranus is blue-green! Now, lets write that on the board under the category for Uranus. Does Uranus have rings?

Students should respond with yes.

T: Uranus does have rings. The rings are black?

Teacher writes black rings under Uranus category.

T: What was special about the shape of Saturn's' rings?

Student's responses will vary depending on comprehension.

T: Uranus also has moons. Guess how many?

High-low is played once again until the answer of 15.

T: Uranus does have 15 moons. Does Saturn have moons?

Students should respond with yes.

T: So they both have moons? Where should the word "moons" be placed then?

Students should respond with under the "Both" category and 15 under the Uranus category.

T: We have learned so much today and our chart of facts looks fantastic. Now with all of those facts we are going to create a Venn diagram.

Teacher holds up the Venn diagram.

T: This is a fancy way to say a chart with two circles. Notice how the chart looks like two circles that share a middle. Would the materials manager come up and help me pass out the diagrams.

Teacher and materials manager pass out diagrams.

T: Thank you. Lets write Saturn above the circle on the left. The spelling is on the board if you need it.

Teacher circulates to help if needed.

T: Now write Uranus above the circle on the right.

Teacher circulates and guides if needed.

T: What do you think we are going to write above the middle?

Teacher will most likely respond with "both" because that is what is on the chart of facts.

T: Very good! Now refer to our fact chart on the chalkboard. Notice how it is labeled Saturn, both and Uranus with facts and specifics under each. Lets start with the Saturn category. Under Saturn we have 7 rings, 18 moons and flat, wide rings. Lets write those under the Saturn circle on our diagram.

Students begin to do this and teacher circulates to help if needed. Then waits for students to finish.

T: Under Uranus goes what facts?

Teacher calls on student who will say blue-green color, black rings and 15 moons.

T: Now we need to write our Uranus facts in the circle under Uranus.

Teacher circulates to help if needed and waits for students to finish.

T: Under the "Both" category is rings and moons. Where do they go on our diagram?

Students should respond with in the middle and then the teacher circulates to monitor progress.

T: Very nice job with Saturn and Uranus.

C. Closure

Referring to posters and books, students will draw Saturn and Uranus and staple them to the back of their Venn diagrams. When finished with their sketch, students will orally explain the Venn diagram as well as their lovely pictures.

Teacher circulates to help if needed and assist with student oral explanations.


A. Student Assessment
1. Student Assessment
Students' understanding of themes and concepts presented in class will be informally assessed through teacher observation and oral questioning during lesson, fact chart, Venn diagram and drawings.

Students' ability to orally describe Venn diagrams and their drawings will be assessed through teacher observation after completion.

Students understanding of 2 individual planet characteristics and labels will be formally assessed after the presented lesson.

2. Reflection on Assessment of Student Performance




B. Self-Evaluation