MS-ESS1-3: Scale Properties in the Solar System

Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. (Scale, Proportion, and Quantity)

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an object’s layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling facts about properties of the planets and other solar system bodies.

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

Crosscutting Concepts
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.




Solar system
Objects (planets, moons, and asteroids)
Scale properties
 - Distance from Sun
 - Diameter
 - Surface features (e.g. volcanoes)
 - Structure
 - Composition (e.g. ice versus rock versus gas)
Instruments (Earth- and space-based)


Learning Plans


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