SC.5.E.5.3

Distinguish among the following objects of the Solar System -- Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets -- and identify Earth's position in it.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 5
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Earth in Space and Time - Humans continue to explore Earth's place in space. Gravity and energy influence the formation of galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, stars, the Solar System, and Earth. Humankind's need to explore continues to lead to the development of knowledge and understanding of our Solar System.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.5.E.5.2
    Recognize the major common characteristics of all planets and compare/contrast the properties of inner and outer planets.

  • Clarification :
    Students will distinguish among objects in our solar system based on their relative positions and/or their characteristics.

    Students will identify common characteristics of all planets.

    Students will compare and/or contrast the common characteristics of inner and outer planet groups.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will address a conceptual understanding of our solar system and the characteristics of objects in our solar system.

    Items will not assess characteristics of the Sun.

    Items assessing inner and outer planet groups are limited to: surface composition (whether they are mostly solid or gas), presence of an atmosphere, size, relative position to the Sun, presence of moons or rings, relative temperature, and relative length of a year.

    Items will not require specific knowledge of quantitative astronomical data.

    Items will not assess interactions of objects in our solar system.

    Items will not assess the force of gravity.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    This benchmark grouping is foundational. These concepts have not been introduced in the NGSSS prior to this grade band.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question:

    Jacob started creating a diagram to show some of the common characteristics of the planets in our solar system.


    Which characteristic should Jacob write in the empty circle of the diagram?



  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020060: Science - Grade Five (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720060: Access Science Grade 5 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.5.E.5.Pa.2: Recognize Earth as the planet where we live.
SC.5.E.5.In.3: Identify that the Solar System includes the Sun, Earth, Moon, and other planets and their moons.
SC.5.E.5.Su.3: Identify that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are part of the Solar System.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Games

Go to the Head of the Solar System:

This is a short interactive activity that tests your knowledge of the solar system.

Type: Educational Game

Science Vocabulary Hangman:

This interactive game uses the traditional hangman premise with all questions and answers involving science vocabulary. There are general sets of science vocabulary to choose from, as well as specific topics. You can even choose vocabulary pertaining to 5th or 8th grade FCAT Science Tests!

Type: Educational Game

Astro Adventure (Earth, Space and Beyond):

This is a series of interactive modules on Engineering Interact, a free resource developed by the University of Cambridge Engineering department. It is a great whole group, small group, or individual interactive activity to explain a variety of concepts related to the solar system, including the rotation of the earth, what gives us our calendar, what causes the changes in seasons, how the planets are classified, and the phases of the moon.

Type: Educational Game

Taking a Voyage Away from Home:

In this printable lesson, K-2 Students create a model of the Sun and Earth. They also put together a simple puzzle of the solar system.

Type: Educational Game

Lesson Plans

This Place is Pretty Big. Where am I in the Universe? Solar System:

In this lesson, students will explore the solar system using an online interactive tool to understand the vastness of the universe and the objects in it.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Need Directions! Where am I in the Universe? Vocabulary Lesson:

This is an introductory lesson in vocabulary for a unit of study on space. It is designed to assist students with understanding the vocabulary in an engaging game while students and teacher can easily track student thinking and understanding of these vocabulary terms specific to the space content and standards.

Type: Lesson Plan

Telescope Tally:

Students will read a passage about Asteroids, Comets and Meteors and discuss the material within their groups. Students will then read an article about telescopes and features of telescopes. As a group, students will rate a list of telescopes by deciding which features they feel are most important. Students will be assessed on their writing skills as well as the science material they learned during the supplemental reading.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Journey of the Solar System:

Take a journey and investigate the objects that call our solar system home.  In this interactive tutorial, you'll visit the Sun, planets, satellites, asteroids and comets and learn new and exciting information about our exploration of the solar system.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

The Reality of Planet Size:

This interactive uses Google maps to help students develop an understanding of scale for the distance between objects in the solar system, Milky Way, and other galaxies. Students can also read information about planets, the sun and the moon.

Type: Teaching Idea

Jump To Jupiter:

Students help create and then navigate an outdoor course of the traditional "planets" (including dwarf planet Pluto), which are represented by small common objects.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Astronomy Online:

This website is a collection of references, images, and information for general astronomy. This work covers topics from the basics of science and observation through the solar system, stars, cosmology, and telephotography. The material is clearly organized by topic using links to reference materials on the web.

Type: Text Resource

The Comet that Came in from the Cold:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The comet ISON, believed to originate from the frozen Oort cloud, has been studied in order to make predictions about its destiny – will it be destroyed by, or slung around, the sun?

Type: Text Resource

The Solar System:

This website provides an overview of objects in the solar system. The user can click on different links to learn about objects such as the inner and outer planets and minor bodies. It also includes a link to explorations and activities. This is the on-line version of the printed "StarDate: the solar system" guide.

Type: Text Resource

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Galaxies and Solar Systems:

The students will learn all about outer space in this lesson. They will make a model of a galaxy and learn the vocabulary that relates to this topic. The students will also learn how to classify a planet and describe its features. They will be taught about the Earth's position in the solar system as well as that of the other planets in our solar system. The students will also learn how to classify between the different objects that are in our solar system.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animation

Meteor Showers:

While commonly referred to as "shooting stars," meteors and meteor showers are, in fact, unrelated to stars. Instead, these streaks of light are the glow of interplanetary debris crashing into Earth's atmosphere. In this animated video adapted from NASA, learn about these "shooting stars" and the reasons behind annual meteor showers.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Solar System Simulator:

Use this resource to view the images of various planets from different spots from within the solar system. Set the parameters in the drop down menus and then click run simulator.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Solar System Exploration:

This resource provides an interactive tool for the exploration of the solar system. To navigate the interactive solar system move the mouse to hover the target over different objects, to learn more about each click to access images, information about scientists, homework help, articles, news, missions, time lines, and important facts.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

A Kid-Friendly Solar System:

This website is designed by NASA for student use, so it provides the most current, accurate information regarding the objects in our solar system. Each object in the solar system is available on the first screen. Click on any of the names of the objects, and it links to a description of the object.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Telescope Tally:

Students will read a passage about Asteroids, Comets and Meteors and discuss the material within their groups. Students will then read an article about telescopes and features of telescopes. As a group, students will rate a list of telescopes by deciding which features they feel are most important. Students will be assessed on their writing skills as well as the science material they learned during the supplemental reading.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Journey of the Solar System:

Take a journey and investigate the objects that call our solar system home.  In this interactive tutorial, you'll visit the Sun, planets, satellites, asteroids and comets and learn new and exciting information about our exploration of the solar system.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Journey of the Solar System:

Take a journey and investigate the objects that call our solar system home.  In this interactive tutorial, you'll visit the Sun, planets, satellites, asteroids and comets and learn new and exciting information about our exploration of the solar system.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Educational Game

Go to the Head of the Solar System:

This is a short interactive activity that tests your knowledge of the solar system.

Type: Educational Game

Video/Audio/Animation

Meteor Showers:

While commonly referred to as "shooting stars," meteors and meteor showers are, in fact, unrelated to stars. Instead, these streaks of light are the glow of interplanetary debris crashing into Earth's atmosphere. In this animated video adapted from NASA, learn about these "shooting stars" and the reasons behind annual meteor showers.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Solar System Exploration:

This resource provides an interactive tool for the exploration of the solar system. To navigate the interactive solar system move the mouse to hover the target over different objects, to learn more about each click to access images, information about scientists, homework help, articles, news, missions, time lines, and important facts.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

A Kid-Friendly Solar System:

This website is designed by NASA for student use, so it provides the most current, accurate information regarding the objects in our solar system. Each object in the solar system is available on the first screen. Click on any of the names of the objects, and it links to a description of the object.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Game

Astro Adventure (Earth, Space and Beyond):

This is a series of interactive modules on Engineering Interact, a free resource developed by the University of Cambridge Engineering department. It is a great whole group, small group, or individual interactive activity to explain a variety of concepts related to the solar system, including the rotation of the earth, what gives us our calendar, what causes the changes in seasons, how the planets are classified, and the phases of the moon.

Type: Educational Game