For this activity, you will need some space (consider doing it on the playground or in the sports hall). First, divide your class into 3 groups. If you have 30 pupils in the class, there will be 10 children in each group (8 to represent planets, 1 to represent the Sun and 1 to lead the presentation).
Tell each group that their task is to demonstrate the motions in the Solar System as accurately as possible, taking into consideration the order of the planets, their distances from the Sun, the direction and speed of orbiting and spinning, the tilt of each planet etc.
The children representing planets will be using the models of planets they made earlier (the groups might need to exchange some planets or make new ones to make sure each group has a full set)
Allow 10-15 minutes for the groups to study the numbers and prepare their presentation.
After that the groups will take turns to demonstrate their live models of the Solar System while their presenters will be explaining the details.
(For example, the pupil representing the Sun will be standing in the middle turning on the spot in the counterclockwise direction, the pupil representing “Mercury” will be walking around the “Sun” with a model of his planet above his head. He will tilt the model as needed and spin it in the right direction with the right speed – his model of Mercury will need to make a full turn on its axis after it finishes one “orbit” around the “Sun”. The same with the rest of the planets. If doing it outside, tell the children they can draw the orbits of the planets on the ground with a chalk)
If teaching older children (or advanced class) encourage the children to not only demonstrate their own planet’s motion but to try and synchronize the motions of all the planets. So when the “Earth” finishes its orbit, “Mercury” should finish 4 orbits, Mars – half of the orbit, Jupiter move from 12 o’clock to 1 o’clock and Neptune only make a tiny step.
Free Lesson Plans for teachers who are looking for additional resources to complement our inflatable planetarium. We have developed lesson plans to cater for a range of year groups/ages. For example, Moon Of The Solar System provides an is a suitable resource to follow up our mobile planetarium visit where Y 4,5 or 6 learners were introduced to the solar system. The resource offers ideas for developing a further in-depth understanding of the Moon as a celestial object and its relation to Earth. For the younger audience lesson plan Planets allows embedding the knowledge gained in our presenter-led space mobile planetarium session.
To enhance space relate topic before or after mobile planetarium visit you can also look through a compilation list of web-pages where more resources can be found. BBC Education offers space knowledge material relevant to the British school curriculum. Other websites, such as for example Principia and UK Space Agency contain a number of visual resources and a more even specific information. Aside from incredible visual resources, NASA’s official website contains some great education resources, many of which are printable. If you want your learners to know about the Russian space news ROSCOSMOS website offers information to expand the knowledge gained during our presenter-led mobile planetarium sessions.
www.nasa.gov -The official NASA website
www.esa.int/ESA – European Space Agency
www.bbc.co.uk – BBC science of space
www.bbc.co.uk/education – BBC KS2 Space education resources
www.bbc.co.uk/education – BBC KS1 Earth and Space resources
www.gov.uk – UK Space Agency
https://principia.org.uk – Tim Peaks Journey to the ISS
www.kidsastronomy.com – Videos and games about the solar system