This activity can be used in conjunction with the StarChild Level 1 Solar System information on Planets


1. Identify the planets and their relationship to the Sun

2. Comprehend and follow verbal directions

3. Reinforce correct usage of the comparative and superlative cases

4. Use technology to reinforce reading comprehension skills


• paper for students to draw planet-tac-toe boards

• pencils

• pennies, poker chips, torn pieces of colored paper, etc. to use as game markers


This activity is designed for use after students have become familiar with the names and characteristics of the eight planets in our solar system. Students should be directed to the appropriate sections of the StarChild site and instructed to read/study the information supplied there about each of the planets . Remind students that the "Did You Know?" and "The Facts" sections also contain important information. Once students are comfortable with their knowledge of the planets, they are ready to play Planet-Tac-Toe. Instruct students to draw a typical tic-tac-toe board. Each of the nine spaces should be filled in with the name of a different planet and the Sun. The arrangement of names is a student decision. The planet names can be written on the chalkboard for students to copy to insure correct spelling. The students will then cover the name of the solar system object that fits the teacher supplied description. The criterion for "winning" can be changed from game to game, for example, the first to cover three in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally; the first to cover all planet names; the first to cover a plus sign.

Sample Teacher Clues:

1. This planet is the largest of all. (Jupiter)

2. This planet has more rings than all the others. (Saturn)

3. This planet has the fastest revolution around the Sun. (Mercury)

4. Some of the solar systems deepest valleys are found here. (Mars)

5. This is the hottest body in our solar system. (Sun)

6. Most of this planet is covered by water. (Earth)

7. This planet is closest to Earth. (Venus)

8. No planet is smaller than this one. (Mercury)

9. No other planet is hotter than this one. (Venus)

10. This planet has one more moon than Earth. (Mars)

11. The energy from this body provides light to the Earth. (Sun)

12. Only Jupiter is larger than this planet. (Saturn)

13. This planet is the best place for humans to live. (Earth)

14. This planet has had a storm last for at least 300 years. (Jupiter)

15. This is the most distant planet from the Sun. (Neptune)

16. This planet is more tilted than any other. (Uranus)

Additional Reinforcement/Practice Materials:

StarChild website or CD, Level 1 Solar System Activities "Where Oh Where Does That Little Planet Go?" and "Solar System Shuffle"