Monday, December 6, 2010

Earth, Moon, and Sun

Modeling the Earth, Moon, and Sun Movement in Space

Vocabulary: Earth, Moon, Sun, revolve, orbit, revolution, year, month
clipart by

Have 3 students represent the 3 objects and demonstrate their relative movements through space.
  • Have 1 student pretend to be the Earth and demonstrate the Earth revolving (orbiting) around the Sun (another student).
  • Then have a student pretend to be the Moon and demonstate the Moon revolving (orbiting) around the Earth.
  • Next have all 3 students work together and demonstrate the Moon revolving around the Earth as the Earth is revolving around the Sun.
(Each student can hold a sign with their 'name' : Earth, Moon, or Sun.)


Another idea is to have costumes for the students. I 've used t-shirts for the kids that represent the Moon and Earth (bought at a Museum gift shop). For the Sun, I purchased a yellow M&M Halloween costume (after the holiday when it was half price). I did have to cover the M&M sign. If you're crafty you could put a Big S over the M&M sign.


Another way to demonstrate movement in space is having each child hold a "model" that shows the different sizes of the objects relative to each other. I've used different size balls as models of the Earth, Moon, and Sun.
  • For the Sun, I used a VERY, VERY, VERY  LARGE yellow exercise ball as a model.
  • For the Earth, I've used a blue sponge ball.
  • For the Moon, I've used a very small white styrofoam ball.
(Try to have the diameter of the Moon model be about 1/4 th the diameter of the Earth model and of course for the Sun, use the BIGGEST model that you can find!)

Discuss the fact that it takes 1 year for the Earth to orbit the Sun, and 1 month for the Moon to orbit the Earth.

Here is a video demonstrating the Sun, Earth, and Moon in space.

This can lead into a math lesson on measurement:

  • the number of days in a month
  • the number of days in a year
  • the number of months in a year
  • etc. 


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