Size of the Planets (Pair with “Big & Small,”  “Floating”)


  • Pea (Mercury)
  • Cherry Tomato (Venus)
  • Strawberry (Earth)
  • Blueberry (Mars)
  • Watermelon (Jupiter)
  • Honeydew melon (Saturn)
  • Apple (Uranus)
  • Lime (Neptune)
  • Peppercorn (Pluto, if including)

Line up the fruits and vegetables from largest to smallest. As a class, guess which fruit represents which planet. Then arrange the fruits and vegetables according to their order in the solar system. (Older kids may want to change their guesses at this point.) Then label the planets with their names. Talk about what surprised you.  Re-read the poems together and reflect on your learning.

For more on relative planetary sizes, check out this diagram from the Eden Project, this article from NASA Science, and this video from eChalk on YouTube.


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Photosynthesis (Pair with “Jungle”)


  • Leaf from a broad-leaved planet (such as a hosta or philodendron)
  • Clear bowl of water

Remove a single leaf from a broad-leaved plant (such as a hosta or philodendron), and place it in a clear bowl of water. Place that bowl in a sunny spot, then return after an hour or so has passed. What has happened to the area around the leaf? Write down your observations. (Students should see bubbles of oxygen released from the leaf.) Then read “Jungles” and research the process of photosynthesis. Write a paragraph or poem about how this knowledge affects your perspective on the plants you see every day outside your window, on your playground, or on your plate.


For more on photosynthesis, check out this video from Crash Course Kids on YouTube or this infographic from the Eden Project.



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Layers of Earth (Pair with “Long Memory,” “Fiery,” “Earth Quakes,” and “Big Puzzle”)


  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Plastic or other dull knife
  • Plate

These poems talk about Earth’s layers—the crust, mantle, and core—and their movements.  Hard-boil an egg, then place it on a plate. Use a knife to cut it in half.  Draw the egg and label it with the layers of the earth. What could the shell, white, and yolk represent?

For more on Earth’s layers, check out this video from SciShow Kids on YouTube or this activity from NASA Science.




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Poems to Our Planet

Written by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora