Even in our own “cosmic neighbourhood,” distances in space are so vast that they are difficult to imagine. Year 5 worked together in the hall to build a scale model of the solar system using a roll of toilet paper. They were also given different sized balls to indicate the difference in sizes between the planets – the Earth was a marble, Mercury as a peppercorn and Venus was a pea. We decided that the hall stage would be the Sun. The children then worked together to put the planets in the correct order, size and position in the Solar System. They really enjoyed working together.
Our group discussions raised many interesting points:
Jeff: “The Sun is only 10 x wider than Jupiter but it is over 1000x bigger.”
Francesca: “I was amazed at how small some of the planets were and also just how far some of the planets were from the Sun.”