Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Space - In Your Face or Not?

Patricia Douglass
Santa Rosa District Schools


Do the planets in the solar system, the moon and Alpha Centuri exist if we cannot see them? In this lesson, the student is led to understand that it does not matter if we can see the planets in the solar system or not.


The student knows that stars and planets are always in the sky.


-Construction paper
-Bandana (to blindfold student with)
-True/False formative quiz (See Associated File)
-Space-in Your Face or Not? Rubric (See Associated File)


1. Gather construction paper and bandana for activity.
2. Make copies of the True/False formative quiz. (See Associated File)
3. Make copies of the Space-in Your Face or Not? Rubric. (See Associated File)


1. Ask students if they have ever looked up at the sky in the day time and seen the moon.

2. Brainstorm with the students what they see when they look up at the sky.

3. Write what the students tell you on the board.

4. Encourage students to share their knowledge about things that exist that they cannot see (e.g. the air we breathe, people in other classrooms, or their homes).

5. Have a volunteer come up to the front of the classroom, and blindfold the student.

6. Ask the student if the other students are still in the classroom even though they can’t see them.

7. Discuss with students why they are still there even when they cannot be seen.

8. Divide students into cooperative learning groups. There will be 12 persons in the group to include the nine planets--Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto--, Alpha Centuri, the sun and our moon.

9. Observe students for their cooperative worker skills as they prepare for their presentation and as they give their presentation, marking how they are participating. Refer to the Space-in Your Face or Not? Rubric (See Associated File) to see how they are participating, sharing responsibility, interacting, assigning and performing roles within the group.

10. Inform students that when they have a piece of construction paper over their face that they are “invisible” to the other students.

11. The student who is the “Earth” and the student who is the “sun” should not have construction paper over their faces, but the other students are to have construction paper over their faces.

12. Tell the students that this represents “day.”

13. Ask students if the planets that they cannot see are still there even though they cannot “see” them.

14. Next have the “sun” student cover up his/her face with the construction paper (Alpha Centuri keeps construction paper over his/her face) and the rest of the students uncover their faces.

15. Inform students that this represents “night.”

16. Ask the question, “Is the sun still there?”

17. Elicit the response that the sun is still there whether the students can see it or not.

18. Give students a True/False quiz (See Associated File) to see if they understand the concept that the stars and planets are always in the sky whether or not they are seen.

19. Go over the quiz with the students and have them correct any mistakes and discuss any incorrect answers as needed.

20. Go over with cooperative learning groups how the students performed in the group, offering suggestions.


Formative assessment:

1. Use the True/False quiz (See Associated File)to formatively assess the student’s ability to know that planets and stars are always in the sky. After the students take the test, the class reviews the test together. The student is to self-correct any answers they missed. (An Answer Key is included in the associated file for the teacher.)

2. The Space-in Your Face or Not? Rubric (See Associated File) is provided to assess students' goal three cooperative worker skills.
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