Pinpicks: Earth, Moon & Sun

Reason #1 why being a Year 5 teacher is excellent: no SATs.

Reason #2 why being a Year 5 teacher is excellent: I GET TO TEACH SPACE!!!!!

Oh yes, Earth, Moon & Sun belongs exclusively to the Year 5 Science curriculum, and I could not be happier about it. Stars, eclipses, the fact that right now, right this instant, we are hurtling through space at 100,000km/h? How often do you get to teach ANYTHING that thrilling, brain-bending or humbling? Oh, I love space and all its possibilities.

Want to see some fun Pinterest ideas on how to teach it?

Of course you do…

Found on

1. Demonstrate the distance of planets from the sun… using toilet roll. I say no more. (Except to add that messyjofu has listed a handy website which gives you the distances, already converted into toilet paper squares. Amazing, yes?)

Graphing the constellations

2. Plot the constellations onto a coordinate grid. This would make a lovely little space-related Maths homework – I love a bit of cross-curricular homework, me. Way more exciting than a bog-standard worksheet!

Seasons foldable

3. Kidlings always find understanding the ‘reasons for the seasons’ kind of tricky. This super little foldable makes for a very visual diagram of why the seasons are as they are. (Although we UK teachers will need to change the word ‘fall’ to ‘autumn’, of course.)

Found on

4. While this one’s sort of obvious, looking at this picture it really struck me how much clearer it is to explain day and night by shining a torch on an actual inflatable globe, rather than using an old sponge ball, like I did. Sponge balls don’t have countries drawn on them. They are, in fact, yellow all over. This makes them much more confusing to spin than a lovely inflatable globe. Mental note: need to buy one of these, pronto.

Ways to teach Moon phases

5. Best till last. This is THE most ingenious idea I have seen all year. You get a bunch of ping pong balls, and paint them half black. Hot glue them around an opening in a piece of card. Glue a yellow ball on to represent the sun. Child lifts board over head. Child turns round inside circle. Child gains an earth’s-eye-view of the moon, and sees how the phases of the moon appear to us on earth. You can see a video of what it looks like on the website. So amazing.

I hope you’ve found something inspiring in this selection of pinpicks! Do you have any good resources on space to share? I’d love to see them!


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