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How the planets move

We began the lesson by discussing the meaning of ‘orbit’ and ‘rotate’. In pairs, the children discussed and demonstrated the difference to each other. We fed back as a whole class and asked a pair to model. We then looked at videos of geocentric and heliocentric model of the solar system. How are the planets moving? What is the centre of the solar system? Which model of planetary movement is correct? Why?

Next, we read the story of the change from the geocentric model to the heliocentric model. The children played characters and read lines when their character arose in the story. Following this, we went outside so that we could better understand the heliocentric model and to gain more understanding of the distances of different planets to the Sun. The children were given roles as planets and stood (to scale) approximate distances from the sun. The children side stepped around the sun in a circular motion which showed us why some planets orbit the sun very quickly whereas other take a long time.

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School